|Artist / Creator||Larry Calkins|
|Artist's Nationality||United States|
|Place of Publication||Issaquah, WA|
|Structure / Binding||Unbound book, double sided cards|
|Medium / Materials||Paper, ephemera, tea, thread, wood, shellac|
|Number of Pages||36 pages on 18 two-sided pages|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||7 x 11.75 x 2 inches.|
|Box / Wrapper||Housed in a wooden box|
|Signed & Numbered||Yes|
Gordian Knot is about something that scares me: environmental catastrophe, specifically nuclear disaster. Politicians and scientists risk destroying our sense of well being by threatening us with the indiscriminate destructive force of the atom bomb and by allowing dangerously unsafe environments such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, Japan to destroy lives of innocent bystanders. The potential for other disaster areas might be just a matter of time. The making of this book has coincided with the new crisis in the Ukraine. As a child I was made to feel vulnerable by Cold War rhetoric. Russia's recent invasion of its peaceful neighbor reminds me of how unstable the world is and will always be. Political decision making often goes over the heads of a peace loving, general population and serves special interests of a few powerful players. I ask myself whether attacking Japan with nuclear bombs really helped win the war or whether, in the long run, we actually lost it.
Artist BioLarry was raised in a small logging community in the Coast Range of Oregon. He started making books about life in the Harlan valley, mixing real life experiences with hear-say stories, and creating a set of characters and symbols that appear in all of his work. Larry's art, his encaustic paintings, his artist's books and mixed media sculptures - particularly the stylized, shaker-like dress forms he is known for - have been shown since 1994 in mainstream galleries e.g. in Seattle, New York, and Provincetown, MA. Larry's books are often housed in decorated wooden boxes that contain the detritus of long lives, including found and manufactured objects. He uses old paper, tea, cloth, and ink as a way to add a sense of actuality and a sense of memory. Larry is a prolific artist and a well respected teacher at Pratt Fine Arts Center and NW Encaustic in Seattle.