Between The Sheets: Artists' Books 2017
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Shana James, Western Australia

Ourself behind Ourself, paper, ink, acetate, stitch

unique, 20 x 30 cm


Shana writes: Derived from the paper dolls I used to make as a child by cutting a figure into concertina folded paper this work reminds me of the free flowing creativity of children at play. It is the capacity to tap into this state of flow that allows us to evolve.
The title is taken from a line in a Poem by Emily Dickinson, “One Need Not be a Chamber to be Haunted”. While I found the line “Ourself behind ourself concealed” to be perfect as the title for this this piece, in many ways this work is the antithesis of what the rest of the poem is about. While Dickinson traverses the dark corridors of the mind; my artwork offers an alternate self, a growing humanity, not trapped in the eternal thoughts of the mind but an embodied metaphorical growth, represented by the tree.
I chose for this work the format of female form, but this is not just for a female audience, it is a representation of all humanity, transcending gender and culture. It is a work that speaks to our internal being. The transparent openness of the internal tree, vividly coloured, reminds us of our potential for brilliance.

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