Servane Briand, “bicycles form a chain”

Closed box

Open box

Open book – detail

Open book – detail

Open book – detail


Servane Briand (Palo Alto, CA)

bicycles form a chain
Edition of 3
Pages: 56
Dimensions open: variable, max is 7″x23′
Dimensions closed: circular, H-2.25″, diameter 7.75″

Living in Silicon Valley and making artists’ books is exhilarating. When some may blame the digital revolution for the demise of the book, one could also argue that it allowed the extraordinary vitality of the artist book. I am an enthusiastic reader and have always loved books. This naturally led me to want to make my own. Starting in 2006, I studied printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding. I also revisited my favorite poets and discovered many I did not know. Along the way, I have been lucky to have extraordinary teachers whose levels of craftsmanship and artistry is unique. I also was able to work on several collaborations. I greatly enjoyed it and keep time in my studio practice for collaborative projects.

In creating a book, I enjoy the ability to work from these different perspectives and putting them together. I like that inspiration can arise from different places but that in the end all pieces must fit together, a bit like a puzzle. I have fun using very ancient tools and techniques and the latest technology too. And often, I have to ask for help which may lead to more collaborations! It’s a wonderful challenge and the narrative is always moving forward.

In pursuing the book as art object, I am also interested in what happens within the interaction. The reader/viewer picks up the book and invents yet another narrative. He or she tells a story and while I may not capture it, I am curious at what it is and what if? More of my work in the coming years will explore what happens in this territory. I cherish our ability to be moved by works of art and I love witnessing it.

Bicycles form a chain come from my recent exploration (and obsession!) with circular shapes. That has led me to explore a wide variety of cycles. Making my own paper enabled me to have natural deckles on round leaves and opened up the door for several round books, circular time story (time), a book for laure (time and memory) and les bicyclettes font la chaîne (bicycles)! In these books I also explore freedom and attachment. The book is bound but the lightness and transparency of the paper suggests a possible escape. I have always felt there was some resemblance between dogs and bicycles that wait, attached to a post, for their human companions. There is within their expectancy something mysterious that I tried to capture in this book. These bicycles both real and rooted in my imagination form a chain that give them, maybe, an opportunity to escape their terrestrial ties.