Long before the accessibility of print-on-demand, photographers have been creating handmade books. These books are themselves works of art, and serve as both an archive and portable exhibition space for collections of photographs. This series showcases artists exploring the relationship between photograph and book.
Lauren Henkin is a photographer and book artist based in New York City. Handcrafting books of her work for several years, she launched Vela Noche in 2010 as an independent press for limited edition artist books.
Silence is an Orchard is a beautiful 11” x 15” book presenting 14 landscapes made in Maine’s Acadia National Park. Henkin’s design is simple and elegant, employing muted tones to instill the reader with a feeling of quiet meditation. Each blank left-hand page highlights the black and white square photograph on the opposite page. Like the title and photographs presented, the feel of the book is hushed, allowing the reader experience a solitary journey page by page.
The book contains photographs made by Henkin, but it is also a showcase of five talented women artists from the Northwest. Each artist brings a different component to the book: Sarah Horowitz’s etching of bare tree branches on the cover is a minimalist work that mirrors the Japanese kozo paper used within its pages. Kirsten Rian’s poetry is found towards the back of the book, letterpressed by Inge Bruggeman. Each volume is hand-bound by Sandy Tilcock.