Evanesco - A Selection of Beleaguered Frogs
Aurora, CO: Alicia Bailey at Ravenpress, 2020. Hardcover. Produced in a variable edition of no more than 9 copies of which this is number 4. A collection of 17 endangered frog species, each hand painted (reproduced digitally), and briefly described with terms such as "population decreasing." Labeled ink drawings of frog anatomy are incorporated into each illustration. A circle graph showing frog populations as extinct, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened, least concern, and data deficient accompanied with hand-written percentiles in red adorns the bottom of the case for the book. Along the interior edges of the box the following text is printed: "Blake believed that the object of being human is to learn how to be human. Will we learn to be human in time? To live up to our full capacities in time to save ourselves? To save the world that is vulnerable to us? To fail will bring on a greater tragedy than we can possibly imagine."
According to the artist: "This project began with a batch of biology notebooks from my great-aunt Ruth's archive that were created in 1920 as part of her undergraduate education. I inked over several of her pencil drawings detailing frog biology, treated the pages so they would be receptive to oil paint, then painted a variety of frogs, one to a page. Scanned at high-resolution, these images were printed on hand-dyed Mohawk Superfine Text paper with archival digital inks. The images were each mounted on a core of museum board wrapped with elephant hide paper with further details about the depicted frog hand-written in red ink. The pages are bound using a wire edge structure, onto metal rods. The book and box covers have been treated with shellac, then overpainted with gesso, oil, and wax. The covers each have a hand-painted frog behind laser etched mica labels. The diamond shaped book is housed in a custom box with text laser etched into the tray's corner pieces. The base of the box has a print out of a circle graph with a hand-written legend under a layer of cast acrylic."
Alicia Bailey has been creating artists' books, limited edition books, and sculptural books since the mid-nineties. Her work has been featured in dozens of exhibitions and is held in many collections around the world. This book is held in the collection of the British Library. Size: about 8 x 7 x 2 inches. [20 pages.] ARTB/111621. Fine.