My exhibition Wayfinding opens at MCLA’s Gallery 51 in a smidgen over a month from today. (July 28, 2016) There are about a half-dozen in progress pieces/artist books that must be completed by the install. Every day I get a little closer to being ready.
Yesterday I stitched together 28 signatures into the book Forgive Me, a book inspired by the Hawaiian forgiveness meditation and ritual Ho’oponopono. Anyone who has ever navigated the process of forgiveness knows that it can by a difficult path. Ho‘oponopono was introduced to me as a meditation practice where one repeats four phrases over and over. Kinda like the Metta prayer. There are other ways of practicing it too. Read more about that here.
The four phrases are:
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
Simple, right? Maybe. In finding my way through this thing called life, forgiveness comes up again and again. How do we forgive each other? Ourselves? The many different atrocities in our world? How can we hold a lightness in our heart when so much hatred and anger fills our society? Perhaps Ho‘oponopono and Metta can help. This book repeats those phrases over and over as you read through it, becoming the meditation itself. I’m currently fantasizing about exhibiting it on a table with my pink velvet chair next to it, inviting that meditation.
I printed each of these phrases over and over onto each one of the 28 signatures that were first painted with various inks and gesso resists. Then I bound them together using the Greek Sewing from Keith Smith’s Non-Adhesive Binding Volume III: Exposed Spine Sewings. This is a ridiculously fun binding where one half of the text block is sewn to one cover and the other half to the other cover. Then the two halves are joined using a figure-8 type stitch. The stitching feels a lot like the caterpillar stitch, if you know that one, and just like the caterpillar stitch requires fierce concentration. No chatting on the phone while sewing this book.
I chose this sewing because it can result in a slightly swollen spine, a no-no for many bindings, I want this book to be displayed completely open, and a swollen spine will do that. Here’s what it will look like from above when displayed. This is the mock-up book–loving it already.
The book will be housed in a custom made box using a glorious scrap of hot pink paper backed silk. I have exactly enough of it to do this. As long as I don’t make any errors. If you want to see the finished book in all its glory AND its box, be sure to put July 28, 2016, 5-7 pm on your calendar. See you DownStreet!