An Unhappy Home

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Artist Statement

“An unhappy home” is an artist book that developed from a series of prints I began in 2012. I wanted the book to have a homey feel. This is the main reason why I chose to use fabric. The book is designed to be tactile with choices of fabric that complement the images. I also wanted it to come across as an unappealing secret that is already out in the open. Hence the dark green board (which was a woodblock) and coarse twine used to make the cover. There is a certain rawness to the construction of the book. This rawness was a design decision used to make the concept of the secret messy, chaotic, and unappealing without being tactless. Metal Zinc etching plates were used to bring a certain amount of coldness to the object.

The focus of the prints is Domestic Abuse. In my life I’ve known too many people who have experienced some kind of abuse that I’m generally talking about with this work. It is a subject that bothers me considerably, because it has always been close to home. I’ve been involved in the problems and stories of others and I chose to create my own icons and narratives out of respect for them. I felt it would be wrong to exploit their stories to make the work. I wanted the work to show that these types of abuse happen to anybody regardless of what their race is. 

Even though I had knowledge on the subjects of domestic abuse before hand, I decided to spend three months researching the topic at The Dallas Public Library. I also had some conversations with social workers. Before I began the work my Grandmother on my father’s side and my grandfather on my mother’s side passed. These were two different experiences with different resulting emotions. My work is expressive. In the creation of this series I tried to funnel my emotions about their deaths and other experiences into this work. 

I don’t know how strong or effective this artist’s book is, though my hope is that it brings some benefit to someone.

Colophon

“An Unhappy Home” is a unique book created in Austin, Tx at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Except for the detachable “shame” print, printed on water stained brown fabric, all prints were made at the University of Texas at Austin in the print studios. The detachable “Shame” print was printed at Brookhaven Community College in Dallas, Tx.

Zinc etching plates were used in the fabrication of the book. These plates were used to create some of the prints found inside “An Unhappy Home”. Old woodblocks were used to create the front and back cover. The back cover contains a block titled “Mr. Pleasure”. The entire block is covered, but the face of Mr. Pleasure was scared for symbolic content.

The book contains various fabrics, including: cotton, denim, and canvas.

Other materials include: Book binding tape, White linen thread, Yes Paste, Weldbond Glue, Lineco Neutral Ph Liquid, Delta Creative Antique White Acrylic paint, two buttons, three safety pins, and four hair pins

Taylor Pierre Bryant created the book and all prints included.

October 2013