Fossils & Whispers
Fossils & Whispers
Fossils & Whispers
An artist book edition by Nicole Geary & Cat Snapp
Fossils & Whispers began in the spring of 2014, when we (Nicole Geary & Cat Snapp) started throwing around ideas of creating a collaborative work of art. As we talked, we each shared profound moments that occurred while on hikes in the wild. Each of our experiences of solitude in nature reshaped our understanding of the earth and our place in it. In these conversations we decided to make an artist book edition* that captured the spirit of our reflections in the wild.
We live in separate parts of the country, so to overcome the hurdle of distance, we used the internet and postal service to share ideas, drawings and samples. We video-chatted to get on the same page, worked on files in a shared digital folder and shipped mock-ups back and forth. Since we couldn’t work in the same studio in the physical world, we created a studio space online. Despite living in different states, we came together twice to work on the edition- for a single day in 2014 to create a series of drawings and three weeks in 2015 to print and bind the edition.
Fossils & Whispers is a short first-person narrative about existing in the wild. Mixing physical observations, anthropomorphic sightings and metaphor, Fossils & Whispers captures a mind in nature. Small observations trigger earth-shaking revelations, mountains become spirits, and one is in unison with the earth in this intimate walk in the wilderness.
Fossils & Whispers is a pocket-sized field book that is expressive rather than scientific. Envision the narrator holding the book in one hand as she documents her journey with the other hand. The jewel tone ink captures the vibrancy in nature while the feathery punch of typewritten text is a reminder that the narrator’s journey is as tactile as it is spiritual. The sturdy natural linen cover suggests a book meant for nature, scuffing against rocks, tree bark, and thorns and the alternating opaque and translucent pages allow text and image to overlap, coming into view and blurring out of focus like thoughts floating around in contemplation. The book is a talisman of the wild. When read, it brings forth solace and harmony that can only be provided by the natural world. Keep it near during hectic times and follow the narrator on her journey to a place of introspection and connection.
*What's an artist book? An artist book is a work of art that employs book structures, concepts or qualities to communicate an idea. Its broad definition illustrates how varied in appearance, size and functionality an artist book can be. Some artist books take form as containers, sculptures, even videos. Fossils & Whispers is a hardcover pamphlet stitch using traditional binding methods, so its structure takes the form of a commonly recognizable case binding.
Title: Fossils & Whispers
Artists: Nicole Geary & Cat Snapp
Binding: Hardcover pamphlet
Pages of Content: 24
Dimensions: 5.25H x 3.63W x 0.38D inches
Year completed: 2015
Limited Variable Edition: 20, signed by the artists, six are available for sale here and Nicole Geary also has part of the edition for sale on her website.
Fossils & Whispers was printed and bound by hand. The text of each book was typed by hand using a typewriter. Due to these factors, books in the edition may have slight variances from photographs, but are consistent in content, color and layout. It is a limited edition of 20. It will not be published again.
* Confirmed archival
- Awagami Factory Gampi-shi paper*, off-white, 100% Japanese Gampi, 30 gsm, Gampi-shi is an extremely lightweight, translucent paper chosen for its delicate appearance. It is, however, a very strong paper that can withstand proper handling of the pages.*
- Rives Lightweight paper, natural white, 100% cotton, 115 gsm*
- Asahi Japanese bookcloth, natural linen*
- Hollander’s Standard Book Board, 0.59 inches*
- French linen binder’s thread, unbleached white*
- Rubber-based letterpress ink*
- Typewriter ribbon ink
- PVA Glue*
- Graphite pencil*
For more about the creation of Fossils & Whispers:
A timelapse of our residency at the Southwest School of Art, where we produced Fossils & Whispers over 2 1/2 weeks in the letterpress studio.