|Artist / Creator||Sue Clancy|
|Place of Publication||Norman, Oklahoma|
|Publication Date||February 2004|
|Structure / Binding||Accordion|
|Medium / Materials||100 percent cotton handmade paper, cotton yarn dyed black. The yarn was artistically laid on freshly formed sheets of waterleaf paper, another set of freshly formed waterleaf was gingerly laid over the yarn and hand-pressed carefully to form an “embossing” around the yarn and simultaneously create a subtle texture in the paper. The embedded yarn also forms the books binding. The formed sheets with embedded yarn were allowed to dry in the form the book now holds. The dual - texture of the paper is a deliberate creation and part of the act of forming the book. The book title was printed, after the book was dry, in ink using rubber stamps and an ink pen.|
|Paper Stock||Handmade paper created and dyed by the artist.|
|Number of Pages||6 Panels|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||8 x 6 x .5 inches (closed), 8 x 32 inches wide approximately (open)|
|Signed & Numbered||Signed|
The linguistic phrase “string music” has multiple meanings which is celebrated, tongue in cheek, by the books very construction. Music itself can have multiple meanings depending the way the music is used or upon the manner in which the musician plays the sheet music. The book celebrates artistic moments in time and space, whether linguistic, artistic or musical.Artist’s back story for this book: As a deaf artist I frequently explore the concepts and culture of “sound” by making it visible. Musical sound has a wealth of subtleties which I tried to mirror by creating paper (and a book object) with a wealth of visual and tactile nuances. (This is why there’s no color in this particular book) Music is an important part of human cultural life and is often used metaphorically or symbolically to signify, for example, scene changes at a movie. Music is used in many stores to stimulate buying habits, or used in restaurants to set mood. So I wanted to illustrate how music can “bind” us and yet also, when we play or compose music ourselves, free us to express ourselves. (That is why there’s no indication of what key or tempo to play the notes in – I’ve left that to the viewer’s discretion.) String music – that played by violins or guitars for example – is one of our oldest human cultural artifacts, a thread running through human history - so it seemed fitting to me to use the ancient arts of handmade paper & string to say so.
Sue Clancy (b. 1968 Norman, Oklahoma) has always loved books. She made her first book when she was about 6 years old by humorously altering, re-binding, illustrating and writing-in a church hymnal. After that “success”, which was widely acclaimed by her peers though not as well received by the adult critics, she continued throughout school to practice the arts of illustration and paper folding on her mathematics homework and to conceive English term papers as bound and illustrated art objects. She went on to get a Bachelors of Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design from the University of Oklahoma. While in college and for several years afterwards she was paid to design and make printed/published books of various ordinary sorts as well as to illustrate things for those books. Finding graphic design to be relatively un-funny in 1996 she formed her own business focused on illustration and writing. (She became an editorial cartoonist for 6 years and continues to create cartoons for publication – but never mind about the cartoons, here we’re talking about books.) In 1996 Oklahoma she wasn’t able to find, in the available stores, a sketchbook that was bound durably containing paper pages of a kind that she wanted to draw and write on – so she began learning to bind her own books by reading books about book-binding and learning from other bookbinders often corresponding by snail mail with Shereen La Plantz and Keith Smith. To practice her new book-binding skill she participated, for over 7 years, in the Art-O-Mat project by creating a popular line of hand-bound books the size of a pack of cigarettes which were dispensed from old cigarette vending machines. Combining book-binding skill with her skills of papermaking, paper-marbling, paste paper making, print making, illustrating and writing – it wasn’t long before she was creating one of a kind content filled books as well as using her handmade papers as well as exploring the narrative aspect of bound books as part of her 2 dimensional fine art. That led to special commissions, and participation in group art exhibits nationally and internationally as well as including book arts with fine art exhibits – or vice versa. Sue doesn’t see a line between fine art paintings and book arts – or where illustration and writing end and painting and book arts begin. Her artwork both 2D and 3D has been exhibited and purchased by institutions such as the Wexford Ireland Arts Center, The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder Colorado, The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan Wisconsin, The Wisconsin Historical Society, The Empty Space Gallery in Bakersfield California, CARF International in Arizona, The Oklahoma School of Science and Math and many others.
She’s also had a number of successful one woman exhibits, most recently at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Her art resides in numerous private collections which include the Kennedy family in Washington D.C. and the private collection of New York Times bestselling author Billie Letts.
In Oklahoma she’d taught well attended workshops for many aspects of the book arts, she curated and juried exhibits and wrote a “business of art” column for Art Focus Oklahoma, a publication she’d helped to begin while on the board of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. Also in Oklahoma she is represented by the Joseph Gierek Fine Art Gallery in Tulsa, Downtown Art & Frame in Norman and Istvan Gallery in Oklahoma City.
In 2011 she moved from Oklahoma to the Northwest where she is finding a more hospitable habitat in which to be a happy human humorously playing with words and pictures.