San Francisco, California
FINDING HER PLACE: THE WOMAN BEHIND THE NATURALIST
artist’s book, letterpress, digital printing, laser cutting
9.5″ x 2″ x 8.75″
My artwork is tied to natural themes, and the untenanted remnants of plant and animal life. Many of my most recent artist books are entrenched in the history and visual sensibility of cabinets of curiosities and early women in the field of science. Through my own first hand experiences and reframed stories, I seek to illuminate the perspectives of early pioneering women naturalists, alongside their scientific documentation in the field.
For me, artist books are a medium that allows for multidimensional stories to take shape and be accessible to the viewer in both a sequential and spatial form. The finished artist books incorporate components of handmade paper, bookbinding, macro-photography, laser cutting, digital and letterpress printing as well as the narrative. The process of going through the book should be a journey for the reader, taking in the story visually, tactically and creatively interpreting the intertwining of my wonderings and Jeanne Baret’s undocumented explorations. It is through the unfolding and unearthing and untangling that leads us to discovery in science, and it is that same process that challenges and propels me to create artist books.
When Jeanne Baret stepped on-board the Etoile ship in 1766, she didn’t set out to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. Alongside her colleague, accomplice and lover, Philibert Commerson, she took on many roles during the expedition as a botanist, herb woman, nurse, and cataloger of the more than 630 specimens they brought aboard.
This limited edition artist book traces the expedition of the first woman to circumnavigate the globe, through the lens of the botanical discoveries she made along the ship’s journey. Jeanne Baret was not able to document the expedition herself, due to the forbidden nature of her passage on this journey, but her legacy has inspired many and spurred the creation of this book.