Geography of Lost by Ellen Sheffield

$850.00
The text in Geography of Lost is a poem written after reading an article on Lost Person Behavior, the science of knowing where to search for someone based on which of 41 profiles applies. Implicit in my poem are hard things, feeling forlorn when contemplating a family history of depression, substance abuse, dementia, suicide and other mostly unseen manifestations of hopelessness. There are so many ways to be lost - the thesaurus entry lists over 60 words including disoriented and vanished. Pulling apart and fracturing my poem's lines set them adrift amid images of aerial snow-covered landscapes photographed on a winter flight and overlaid with askew grids. The book’s structure of two overlapping signatures provides multiple reading paths as the pages are turned left then right, the triptychs reconfigured but always leading to the same concluding line, “the path now anywhere yet nowhere to be seen”, an attempt to visualize experiences of being lost both in the world and to the world.

Artist Bio

Ellen Sheffield’s works on paper and artist’s books use text and image intersections and juxtapositions to create unexpected readings. In collaborations with poets, experiments with found text and engagement with her expanding writing practice, she explores themes of place, memory and language perception. Her studio, Unit IV Arts, is located in Gambier, Ohio, where she has taught for Kenyon College’s Art Department and presented virtual workshops for book art centers around the country. The Beinecke Library at Yale University, the Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and many others have collected her artist books.