Holding Up the Roof. by Mari Eckstein Gower

In my art history classes architecture was divided into distinct periods/styles: Classical, Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Modern (which covered numerous sub-styles). For most of these, the homes of common people are absent. It seemed as though "architecture" meant tombs, temples, palaces and cathedrals. The humble house was out of the picture. This got me thinking about how often our homeless population are also out of the picture—and what are our limits to our definitions for the word "architecture"? At its very base level, a building is a mechanism for holding up a roof. So, I began studying the ways those architectural period/styles would hold up a roof, as well as how architects viewed their art. Then I studied how we speak about the homeless situation. There is the main book (the modified flag book) which has a house shape cut out of the pages. Those cut-outs form a little additional book which has quotes about homelessness—my way of keeping them in the picture.

Artist Bio

Mari Eckstein Gower lives and works on her artist books in Redmond, WA. She incorporates her love of images and words in her artwork, experimenting with new forms for combining the two. She studied painting and humanities at Scripps College and Claremont Graduate University.