This river has no ego by Tony Bellaver and Mary V. Marsh

A meditation on our need to control nature, this is a collaborative book with original poetry and images by Tony Bellaver and Mary V. Marsh. The making of this book has been a process of years of conversations while camping, backpacking and fly fishing. The close observation required for fly fishing reveals the interconnectedness of the river, trees, fish and insects. We reflect on our relationship to nature, the power and endurance of rivers, and our insignificance. We try to understand it through the lens of science and words. The river doesn’t care if we are here or not. We strive to see and respect the river, without naming or cultural construct. From our sketchbook drawings and poetry we developed the content and designed the format, and printed and assembled it collaboratively. The accordion structure allows the book to unfold in an uneven rhythm like a river. The maple burl and redwood veneer relate to trees around our favorite rivers of California. The salmon vertebrae shows one part of the cycle of life of the river. This river has no ego, no care, no consciousness of itself. To the sea it flows, over rocks of granite, down cascades of mist. Often turbid, sometimes placid, always moving. Water flows deeper, into rock and soil it cuts. Competition in the wilderness, process of evolution, defined and invented. Made of creeks, of lakes, to join into rivers. Blue, green, turbid, clear, 2 parts hydrogen, 1 part oxygen, water is chemical. Earth’s solvent.

Artist Bio

Quite Contrary Press offers small edition and unique artist’s books, prints and photographs by Tony Bellaver and Mary V. Marsh, created individually and collaboratively in Oakland, California. Tony Bellaver makes mixed media sculpture, drawings and photographs inspired by his love of hiking and nature. He combines maps, drawings, photographs, poetry and found foliage gathered on his many hikes to create his diary-like works. He received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992. He has had solo shows at Villa Montalvo, Steffany Martz Gallery, NY, and Spun Smoke, Oakland among others. Mary V. Marsh’s work looks at changing formats of media, and our habits of reading. Years of working in libraries, materials collected, concepts experienced, and evolving technology are a foundation for projects and ideas. She received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1992, has had solo shows throughout the Bay Area, and was a Kala Art Institute 2018-19 Fellowship Award Artist.