My customary summer break from my blog is at an end. My feet are once again under my desk, and I have already begun on a series of new work and projects set for the winter months. I have so very much to tell you about the events and travel of Summer 2013 that I will need to write a series of blogs over the next four weeks to cover it all.
It is hard to know where to begin. I guess the best place is to pick up where I left off, when I wrote about the devastating flooding that hit our dear mountain town just as I returned from my birthday trip to southern California. Our dear mountain town and all those other communities so deeply impacted by the flooding slowly move toward healing in the deeper layers, well below the surface functioning that resumed within days. The scars on our landscape remain despite the continual work on remediation. The scars on our memories remain even deeper.
In all, despite those painful days and weeks, it was a lively and exciting summer, filled with events of amazing magnitude. For this post, I will tell you that the summer saw two significant acquisitions of my work. I haven’t got over a bit of jumping up and down excitement over these!
The Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the University of Toronto acquired my concertina book “River Worn”. This piece was a much-beloved concertina nearly 6 feet in length at full extent, illustrated with river-worn rock images taken on a visit to the Kootenay River in British Columbia, and containing the lyrics to an old camp song, “Peace, I ask of thee, O River”:
Peace I ask of thee, O’ River
Peace, peace, peace
When I learn to live serenely
Cares will cease.
From the hills I gather courage
Visions of the days to be
Strength to lead and faith to follow
All are given unto me
Peace I ask of thee, O’ River
Peace, peace, peace.
~ Author Unknown, Camp song
The piece had previously passed through the hands of two California rare books dealers before finding its final place in the Thomas Fisher Library. I am honoured to have my work included in their special collection, and hope to get to Toronto to see it there myself one of these days.
Over this same period, I had some work on display at the Abecedarian Gallery in Denver as part of their Artist’s Book Cornucopia IV. I had received email notification from them that one of the pieces had sold and would not be returning to me, but that was all the information provided. When the package arrived in June with the returned work, I didn’t open it right away, knowing as I did that it was just my returning work. A few days after its arrival, I finally opened the package. In the top of the package was a letter from the gallery to advise that the piece had been purchased by Yale University. I must admit with a blush that there was a certain rather shrieking and incoherent telephone call placed to my sister some three thousand miles and two time zones away (ergo, 1am her time . . .) before I recovered. To her great credit, she advised me that shrieking phone calls at 1am from my home were generally welcome, as they usually meant good news! A Sense of Place has now been catalogued and can be viewed in the Haas Arts Special Collection at Yale University Library.When I next write, I will tell you about my adventures in California. And then there is New Jersey . . . and New York . . . and South Korea. As I said, it was quite a summer!