Wearable 'girdle' book with enclosure

There are junctures in a working artist’s career where a palpable shift can be felt; ideas and gestures that were disconnected and floating in the aether of the studio practice can suddenly home in and merge. These moments are, in a creative sense, the perfect wave. Many of them over the years have washed over me, leaving me more with a feeling of heightened inspiration than any tangible benefit.

Not so with The Great Wave of 2009 - I felt it coming with previous pieces this year, so it was met with the determination to ride it all the way to shore. And so – cowabunga – for the last ten weeks I have danced with, struggled over and journeyed alongside this piece of wearable artwork. Much has been learned, and will be utilized henceforth, during the making of The Diary of an Antiquary. No fewer than three techniques employed here were new to me, so in a real way this piece has etched that perfect wave with its name. In its structural form it is truly a one-off work, an unrepeatable response to some very unique materials.

Perhaps most meaningful for me during this time is the fact that after 15 years of collecting and reveling in artists’ books, I found myself ready to try my hand at creating one myself from scratch. The experience was incredibly rich and full of wonder, and needless to say left me wanting more. Heartfelt thanks go out to the inspiring book artists Adele Outteridge and Daniel Essig, for their beautiful work and warm friendship over the years.

Where these threads, both real and metaphorical, will lead me in the coming months and years, I haven’t the slightest idea. So with great gusto, I embrace the not-knowing.

Keith Lo Bue - 4 September 2009


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