Touchstones by Pamela Paulsrud

Please contact 23 Sandy for current availability.

A quiet early morning walk on the beach, a way to start the day...the beauty of seeing the horizon, nature, changes...a place just to be, the tiny stones tufting the blanket of smooth sand and the musical scores written by the lines created from the lapping of the waves. Small stones usually found their way into my pockets to be fondled, reexamined or sometimes forgotten. Small stone piles began to form in and around my house.

It was the stone dreams though, lucid dreams about stones and their messages that kept me going back, searching. These stones resonated with me. They triggered stories within me. This all occurred during my investigation of the nonverbal narrative in artists books. I was led to explore the essence of storytelling in the absence of words. I thought I wanted to entertain the idea of story development initially through imagery, realizing however, that it was not simply the linear arrangement and progression of images with story telling qualities that I was pursuing, but rather the resonance and communicative quality that are embodied in its physicality.

I have chosen the book in sculptural form to explore these narratives of the landscape. The book has been the vehicle of language across the ages. I consider it an intrinsically visual experience, a spatial and tactile object whose form is fundamental to conveying its message. Through the physicality and visual suggestions I hope to not only produce a book and image simultaneously, but also to convey a language in the absence of text that speaks of the complex interaction of nature and humanity.

Artist Bio

Pamela Paulsrud, visual artist, papermaker and calligrapher received her MFA from Columbia College in Interdisciplinary Arts concentrating in Book and Paper. Pamela investigates the interface of the concept, process, and calligraphic nature of handwriting with the linear features of the landscape using artist books and handmade paper. Pamela’s work has been published in many magazines, books, and journals including Lark Books, Making Memory Books by Hand, Exploratopia, Living Artists, and several issues of Letter Arts Review. Her work is in the Special Collections at the University of California, San Diego; the Allan Chasanoff Bookworks Collection, New York; Topeka & Shawnee County Library Special Collections, Topeka Kansas; and Special Collections at the Newberry Library, Chicago. She was awarded the Newberry Library Purchase Prize in 1997. Her lettering titles the ceramic floor map in the exhibit Traveling the South Pacific at Field Museum, Chicago. She is currently exhibiting her work internationally and collaborating with professional artists and the general public on a project entitled  Treewhispers. Treewhispers includes papermaking demonstrations, storytelling and site-specific installations. The project involving handmade paper, art and stories relating to trees as a symbol and resource is also shared at Pamela freelances and teaches workshops in lettering and book arts while continuing to pursue her interest in the healing arts.