In a time where we feel increasingly disconnected from each other, Labors of Love is an exploration of how generosity builds connections within the unique craft culture of the book arts community.
I spent five weeks on the road, meeting over a hundred people in twenty-three different cities. Directors, artists, volunteers, and professors shared their advice, resources, and homes with me as personal examples of how generous acts can strengthen connections between individuals, their local communities, and the larger craft scene.
In repayment for their assistance, I crafted fifty individual artworks as gifts for each participant to reflect the time we spent together and to act as literal elements of “keeping in touch” with those far away. Gifts are tangible ways to show that we appreciate connection over the commercial value of an item, and, as art created for very specific audiences, these artworks are made to opt out of the art marketplace entirely.
To visually narrate and share this experience, I created a book to give to all the participants, using illustrations alongside travel notes and personal recollections to celebrate generosity and to expand the way we think about its necessity in all of our relationships.
The installation was a wall-sized mapped transformation of this narrative alongside take-away copies of the book – within a chalkboard background to evoke teaching and sharing, each cell of this map displayed an excerpt from this project with a web drawn between them to visualize our connections to each other.