San Francisco: Stephanie Peek [printed by Digger Pine Press and Tokugenji Press], 2003. Peeks, Stephanie. Limited Edition. No binding. No. 6 of 10, scroll (see dimensions below), signed by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Stephanie Peek (with her chop). Fine. Item #18092006
This collaborative work between two San Francisco artists, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919) and artist Stephanie Peek, subverts the traditional book form and showcases both artists' inimitable talents in poetry and etching in the form of a traditional Japanese scroll; over seven feet long when unravelled, the scroll creates a contemplative space for Ferlinghetti's haikus and Peek's etchings. The poetry, "after Basho", the seventeenth-century Japanese poet and master of the haiku form, is a celebration of the natural world as well as the humanity and compassion found in all creatures; Ferlinghetti writes, "I am what I am / And will be / what I will be".
Peek creates spit bite etchings to accompany the poems, spirited abstract designs made by painting acid directly onto a metal plate; the soft brush strokes are reminiscent of Japanese ink drawings and calligraphy. The etchings are printed in two and three colours, many with metallic gold ink. The etchings and text are printed on handmade kozo papers made by Hiroyuki Fukunishi, who in honour of his mastery in papermaking was designated a Living National Treasure in Japan.
The scroll is wrapped in a delicate white Japanese paper, and housed in a paulownia wood box, which has the "signature" (a stylized initial) of Lawrence Ferlinghetti in black ink and Stephanie Peek's chop printed in red on the lid. The entire work, from the opening of the wood box to the unravelling of the scroll, offers a tactile experience that complements the force of the words and images in this mingling of American and Japanese printmaking and scroll-making.
___DESCRIPTION: Japanese hand scroll made of handmade Yoshino Kizuki and kozo papers, nine poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and ten etchings by Stephanie Peek, printed in two and three colours, silk and gold brocade borders, the outside of green cloth with grey paper label flecked with silver, with Ferlinghetti's initial and Peek's chop in black, wrapped with a bronze-coloured ribbon; 13" by 91" when unravelled. Wrapped in white Japanese paper, housed in a paulownia wood box with the colophon laid inside, with Ferlinghetti's "signature" and Peek's chop on the lid; no. 6 of 10 copies, plus 3 artists' proofs and 1 trial proof (n.b., a search of OCLC shows that five of the ten copies available are now with institutions). In a box of orange paper with four flaps at the opening, with a bone and clasp closing. Loosely laid in the box is a small paper packet filled with some kind of plant matter, possibly seeds, with purple Japanese characters.
___CONDITION: Scroll is in fine condition, clean, with bright colours, without edge wear. The wood box is fine, strong and sturdy, clean, without wear. The orange box and bookmark are also fine, clean and without wear.
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