What the Sea Has Seen by Karen Viola

$345.00 - Please contact 23 Sandy for current availability.
Like too many other white people I grew up blind to my own privilege with a white-washed, grossly incomplete history education and with much of the horrors of white supremacy culture and structural racism unseen. Until now. This book offers a graphic synthesis of my self-guided study of chattel slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. It is an interactive timeline that displays total numbers of enslaved Africans embarked on ships, inspired by the data presented at the public database slavevoyages.org. Each 50-year vessel card is but a tip of a historical iceberg, summarizing a chronological selection of events from a Western perspective, focusing on the impact of colonization. The fabric of the book is made with responsibly-sourced, organic cotton and natural indigo. White cotton gloves dipped in indigo and red paint are provided for further visceral contemplation, asking readers to consider the ‘blood on their hands.’

Artist Bio

Karen spent her childhood in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada. She has been in love with books since before she could read them, and her first real job was arranging book display tables at a large bookstore. She ventured to New York City to earn her BFA at Parsons School of Design, then moved to White Plains, NY to grow a family and design innovative children’s books. She has extensive professional experience in the book publishing industry as an art director, graphic designer, illustrator, writer, and paper engineer, and now runs her own freelance art and design business and micro-publishing shop, Climbing Tree Press. Karen also walks in the woods, a lot. She works both digitally and traditionally with a variety of textural papers, hand-dyed textiles, and upcycled found materials. Her endless fascination with the Earthling journey informs her ever-unfolding studio practice.