Clew, 2004 / Edition of 14 / Dobbin Mill papers (translucent abaca, and cotton rag/flax), human hair / Letterpress printed at The Artists’ Press in South Africa
Size: 8.75" x 13.5" x .75”
Clew is a feminist reflection on marriage bonds. It examines the 'marriage tree' on the grounds of a Hindu temple in Durban, South Africa and a ritual where young women wrap a tree with silk threads as a prayer to acquire a husband. The prose, printed in thin lines of red across a translucent paper, crosses over pulp-painted commentary on both its front & back and makes linguistic, cultural and historical connections between marriage & bondage / text & textile. The final sentence is printed on a hanging tag, which must be spun, in order to be read.
In 2004 we returned to South Africa on a Ford Foundation grant as trustees of the Ampersand Foundation. At that time, we went to The Artists’ Press up in the rural province of Mpumalanga, to print with Mark Attwood, its proprietor. I designed Clew in advance, made all the handmade paper in Dobbin Mill and arrived with ideas how Mark & I would collaborate. Fortunately, other ideas percolated – (Mark, who is a master lithographer, was hesitant to print on my translucent papers; I on the other hand, am an average printer and came up with endless impossible ideas, which he was willing to try).