Tatiana Ginsberg, “I Fear We Must Go”

Title page with embedded thread and stenciled pulp

“Bowers” print with text page (“I fear we have shipped up — a close shave”)

Title page next to first text page. “Evans” print is visible below text page.

Four of the lithographs together. Pages are not bound so they may be viewed as a whole if desired.

“Scott” lithograph with text page on top. The text pages use fragments from Scott’s last letters, in his handwriting.


Tatiana Ginsberg (South Hadley, MA)

I Fear We Must Go
Two-color lithographs on handmade cotton paper, pulp-stenciled text on handmade kozo/gampi, embedded thread, inkjet print in enclosure.
Edition of 12
12 pages
22 x 14 x 1 open
11 x 14 x 1 closed

I think of myself as collaborating with materials. Making my own paper is the foundation from which most of my work grows, allowing me to embed ideas and marks from the beginning. In the past few years, I’ve come back to drawing, though often in indirect ways, such as drawing shadows on limestone for lithographs. Printmaking, in the widest sense, has, since college, shaped the way I construct images. I build in layers, considering recto and verso, tactility and structure. As often as not, print finds its way into installations, artist’s books, or whatever I make.

I Fear We Must Go was inspired by the British Antarctic Expedition of 1910–13 and the five men, led by Robert Falcon Scott, who trekked to the South Pole but perished on the return trip. Their lives and deaths have cast long shadows. The rock specimens they collected contained fossilized plants, such as Glossopteris indica, which not only indicated that the frozen land once supported plant life but also provided proof that Antarctica was once joined to Australia, South America, Africa, and other landmasses in a single supercontinent, Gondwana.

This project follows an installation of the same name that consisted of large drawings based on the shadows of decaying leaves. The drawings were arranged around a map of the journey to the South Pole. In this artist’s book the same method was used, but instead of drawing on paper the drawings were done on limestone and printed as lithographs. The resulting two-color images, one for each of the five men, are printed on handmade cotton paper. The translucent interleaving text sheets, a mixture of kozo and gampi, are pulp-stenciled with phrases taken from the last letters Scott wrote.