Another book, Pangolin Pandemic, takes on animal trafficking. Artist and bookbinder Gabby Cooksey made a limited edition letterpress-printed book that braids two timely narratives about animal poaching and the spread of diseases like Covid-19. A visit to the Slater Natural History Museum on the Puget Sound campus inspired her to make tactile collages that would recreate the feeling of pangolin scales.
Plastics pollution was highlighted by artist Jessica Spring, who worked with Puget Sound professor emerita Alyce DeMarais, a developmental biologist, on Tensile: A Sublime Love Story, which weaves zebrafish research with a Percy Bysshe Shelley poem. Part of Spring’s creative vision involved using single-use plastic trash in the printing process to signal the harmful effects of cheap packaging on the planet’s fauna.
The exhibition of twenty-one artists’ books remains on view at Collins Memorial Library through January 14, 2022. For those too far afield, the library has created amazing video stories for each of the books, all easily accessible from the main exhibition site.
There will be more on this innovative exhibition in a forthcoming print issue of Fine Books as the exhibition travels to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center in Port Angeles, Washington, and Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, in 2022. Stay tuned!