Accordion fold with pop-ups, printed using intaglio, collograph, relief, and inkjet, with hand coloring and hand embroidery, handmade paper endsheets and cover, from a series of works exploring the origins of fossil fuels. 7 x 3.75 x 3 inches closed, 7 x 48 inches with variable depth full spread. Unique artist book. $400
Altered Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume E (Earth-Everglades), original cover, plants, Plexiglas, and soil made by composting the original text block, 12 x 12 x 3 inches closed. Â $400 (Contact Gallery)
Earth Volume was part of the Bookverks 2008: Information is Not Knowledge project curated by Amanda Thackray and James Prez. For this endeavor, a group of artists were each given a volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica to alter. I received Volume E, Earth-Everglades. As a personal rule in my work, I aim to follow the equation content=materials=structure. With this rule in mind, I decided to remove the text block and compost the pages. Thus, I transformed the pages into soil (earth), which was re-inserted into the original binding. Through this self-generative and circular actâ€”manufactured paper becoming earth into which I sowed plant lifeâ€”I intend to demonstrate a subtle but important conceptual premise for environmentally-conscious artwork. Rather than being a polemic for action or simple documentation of environmental issues, Earth Volume is an attempt to relate object and message to direct action.
Michelle Wilson is a printmaker, papermaker, book, installation and performance artist whose work has been featured numerous exhibitions, including those at the Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, the Landmarks Contemporary Projects series in Philadelphia, and the 2006 International Biennial for the Artistâ€™s Book in Alexandria, Egypt. Over the course of 2009-2010, she will be having solo exhibitions at Chashama in New York City and Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring, MD, and a solo performance as part of the Artbook @ X Initiative series in New York City. In collaboration with Mary Tasillo of Citizen Hydra Projects, she is creating the public art project, BOOK BOMBS, as part of the international 2010 Philagrafika festival.
Her work is in numerous collections, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, the Jaffe Center for Book Arts in Boca Raton, FL, and the Art of the Book Collection at Yale University in New Haven, CT.
Wilson is a 2008 grant recipient from the Puffin Foundation, and is a current Artist-in-Residence at Appel Farm Arts and Music Center in Elmer, NJ. She received her MFA from the University of the Arts in 2007, and her BFA with honors from Moore College of Art and Design in 2000.