Valerie Carrigan, “The Walk”

Artist book fully open

Detail of book showcasing hidden text on the backside of concertina folds

Detail of book from above, revealing hidden text and letterpress printed flats of color in gradations of light to dark on backside of printed images

Wrapper and slipcase, inset of milkweed pod print

Letterpress-printed flat of color on three-part wrapper with artist’s hand-drawn imagery printed from polymer plates

Valerie Carrigan
North Adams, Massachusetts

The Walk
Monotype, offset lithography, letterpress, concertina binding
Edition size of Twenty-five
5 pages
8″ x 36″ x 4″
8″ x 7″ x 2″

Artist Statement

My daughter and I began walking to school last year. We stopped to observe many things, but it was the milkweed that most captured our attention. With each new day we watched the plant change color and texture, my daughter eagerly waiting for the pods to open. This experience taught us about patience, mystery, and for me, learning to embrace the darkness – the place where ideas are conceived and grow, much like the seeds in the pod.

The Walk is a sculptural artist book that encourages us to pause and reflect.  Close-up images of the milkweed pod are coupled with two narratives – one my own, and the other a diary excerpt of 19th-century Swiss philosopher Henri-Frederik Amiel. Original monotypes were made during a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont and have been reproduced as offset lithographs for this edition by Amanda D’Amico at The Borowsky Center for Publication Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The text is set in Garamond typeface and printed on a Vandercook Universal I. The Walk is printed and bound in an edition of twenty-five and housed in a three-part wrapper and slipcase designed by me and constructed by Linda Lembke of Green River Bindery.

This book was completed during my time as Book Artist in Residence at Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport, Maine.