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A Call To Book Artists

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  • Jill Littlewood
    A few years ago I participated in a collaboration with my friend and fellow artist Bonnie Thompson Norman: I did an illustration and she did the printing of a
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29 1:04 PM
      A few years ago I participated in a collaboration with my friend and fellow
      artist Bonnie Thompson Norman: I did an illustration and she did the
      printing of a broadside of a poem called "I Was In A Hurry" by Dunya
      Mikhail. This was in response to a call for printers to show solidarity
      with the booksellers of Mutanabbi street, in Baghdad, where a car bomb had
      devastated this area, know for the rich life it provided writers and anyone
      who loves books. The broadsides have been shown in various galleries and
      universities since the collection was put together in 2007.

      Above is a call for any book artist who wants to enter their work in another
      phase of this project: to show continuing support for the freedom of the
      press and ideas, there will be a second show only this time it will be
      artist's books.

      Below is what Bonnie and I used to describe our collaboration. And here is
      a link to one of the libraries that has a set of the broadsides: there are
      10 collections.

      Jill Littlewood

      "I WAS IN A HURRY" by Dunya Mikhail

      Printed by Bonnie Thompson Norman

      Drawing by Jill Littlewood

      Bonnie Thompson Norman and Jill Littlewood have been collaborating in
      various ways since they met at the Woman's Building in 1980. The "Mutanabbi
      Street Starts Here " project touched both of them deeply because of their
      love of books: the writing, the illustration, the papermaking, the printing
      and binding ; the knowledge and stewardship of the booksellers and
      librarians who make books available for all to appreciate. The devastation
      libraries and bookstores in Iraq is a great loss for the entire world.

      It is this keen sense of loss that Dunya Mikhail captures in her poem "I Was
      in a Hurry." Jill's response was a drawing of a figure and an object
      sketched in vigorous, calligraphic lines, which in turn inspired Bonnie to
      give an equally dynamic shape to the poem. The sense of fleeing was
      emphasized by the placement of the type so that the lines fell in a
      seemingly random way, rushing forward.

      Bonnie chose colors found in early manuscripts from the region and added
      bronze powder to the freshly printed ink as an homage to the venerable
      tradition of illuminated Persian miniatures (many of which must have surely
      been lost in the destruction).

      The process of printing was, for Bonnie and Jill, a meditation on the
      anguish this war has caused. The beauty of the poet's language felt like a
      gift...it allowed us to share with her the burden she must feel.

      Bonnie Thompson Norman

      The Windowpane Press

      4243 NE 92nd St.

      Seattle, WA 98115


      206-383-7674 (cell)

      <mailto:inkdart@...> inkdart@...

      Jill Littlewood

      Littlewood Studios

      435 E. Pedregosa

      Santa Barbara, CA 93103


      805-448-2045 (cell)


      Jill Littlewood

      435 E. Pedregosa, Santa Barbara, California, USA, 93103

      home: (805) 898-9260 cell (805) 448-2045

      President, Friends of Dard Hunter, Inc.



      Annual Meetings:

      2010: Oct.18-24,Arrowmont, Gatlinburg, TN

      2011: Month of October, Regional meetings

      2012: Oct 17-21 Joint FDH and IAPMA meeting @

      Morgan Conservatory, Cleveland, Ohio, USA


      From: Bonnie Thompson Norman [mailto:inkdart@...]
      Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 11:47 AM
      To: Littlewood, Jill
      Subject: Fwd: An Inventory Of Al-Mutanabbi Street - A Call To Book Artists

      This is what I mentioned to you last week. We'll both put it in the back of
      our minds and think on it for a while to attack when the time works.



      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: overlandbooks@... <overlandbooks@...>
      Date: Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 7:42 AM
      Subject: An Inventory Of Al-Mutanabbi Street - A Call To Book Artists
      To: overlandbooks <overlandbooks@...>

      Dear Printers, Poets, Book Artists, And Friends Of The Project

      I'm hoping that you all will read ( and if you are a book artist) will
      consider joining this new project from the Al-Mutanabbi Street Coalition.
      Please read the attachment and write back to Sarah Bodman or myself that you
      will join us.

      Please post this call on your websites, send it to fellow book artists and
      colleagues, make it travel far and wide!!



      "We discover

      that what we want

      from sleep

      is not at all

      what it has come to give us"

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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