Melissa Wagner-Lawler

image detail from artist book, Low Tide, 2022

Exploring the perception of landscape and place, my work manifests moments before change and destruction. The work draws attention to the notion of quiet unpredictability right before impending chaos. The landscapes, while subtle and layered, upend our sense of place and security. The image making properties of printmaking create the illusion of depth and allow for experimentation with surface treatments, including texture, matte, and glossy finishes.

Elements of tension, the breakdown of information and the fragility of circumstance culminate in prints and artists' books. The Inscape Series uses strong, jagged structures and land masses to create moments of tension within the composition. The House of Death on The White Road uses the text of two poems by William Stanley Braithwaite published in 1908 to examine the duality of the chaotic and the calm. Meanwhile, danven0701 explores the challenge of honest communication in the digital environment.

All of my work is completed as series or multiples. The nature of the bound book structure allows me to work sequentially and I can control the order in which the viewer discovers the information, but only to a point. This is the inherent beauty of artist books - the provided structure allows the audience to alter or add to the meaning of the work through the viewing process. The book work is hand-printed, editioned and bound by me.