Kathy T. Hettinga, “4 3 2 CRY”

4 3 2 CRY cover with aluminum compliance sign riveted to front, and open to Title page.

Open to Chapter 3 spread, page 16 and 17, showing folded chapter page; Chapters count down from 4, 3, 2, to CRY chapter.

Detail of top left of page 14, showing maps and translucent text boxes.

Open to Chapter 2 spread, page 26, 27 and 28, 29, showing folded chapter page juxtaposed to pages underneath.

Detail of Chapter 4 fold with text inside of the fold, “Special Hazard, CRY = Cryogenic freezing hazard of the heart and of the soul.”


Kathy T. Hettinga (Dillsburg, PA)
Vamp and Tramp

4 3 2 CRY: Fracking in Northern Colorado
Aluminum compliance sign riveted to cover; Arrestox cloth covered book boards; Cialux cloth covered spine; Archival ink on Mohawk Superfine, eggshell, 70 lb. text; and Bugra endsheets. French fold, drum leaf structure with folded chapter pages. Fonts: Helvetica, Helvetica Neue, and Arbitrary.
Edition of 46
48 pages
7.625 x 15.75 x 1.75″ open
7.625 x 7.75 x .75″ closed

4 3 2 CRY mediates parallel narratives of personal and environmental loss, exposing the effects of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas upon families, land, air and water. It is a lament and a goodbye for both the material/ physical place that Hettinga dearly loved in Northern, Colorado, and the unspeakable loss of her beloved husband. The artist brings these immaterial/ incorporeal/ spiritual aspects into material presence. The book is a lament for a community transformed by drilling operations and leads to the author’s call to stop hydraulic fracturing in the USA.

Looking at satellite maps during the summer of 2012, Hettinga became petrified by the intricate pattern of drilling scars formed across the open lands around Greeley, Colorado. The land is covered with five point X’s—roads crisscross from large well pads. The rich Niobrara shale field is permitted to be drilled twenty plus times per square mile. The land is pierced, perforated, gouged beyond comprehension. Northern Colorado is sitting on a pincushion of drilled and fractured earth. These intricate patterns of X’s form the endsheets of 4 3 2 CRY.

Photographing the area where she lived, worked on a dairy farm, gave birth to her son, started an art gallery, worked as a designer at the Greeley Tribune and went to graduate school, Hettinga saw an agricultural landscape changed by decades of oil and gas drilling operations. Compliance signs, diamond shaped Mondrian-like, are affixed to thousands of condensate tanks. These innocuous signs consisting of primary colors and the numbers one through four are code for a chilling catalog of possible hazards ranging from fiery explosions to lethal health effects. The compliance signs became a design element for the front covers as well as the chapter countdown. Each chapter — 4, 3, 2, CRY — is folded into a diamond shape, some with hidden texts.

Hettinga’s art/design work lies at the intersection of design, photography, digital prints, and book arts. Jenn Bratovich, WSW blogger, has this to say about her work: “Kathy has always been compelled to ask how we make sense of loss, grief, and fragility—these themes hum constantly underneath her interdisciplinary digital work. But it’s Kathy’s “activist radar” and her belief in the democratic nature of self-publishing that drives her to create projects that, like 4 3 2 CRY, use visual communication to call for justice.”