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Beth Sheehan~ Alabama

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Beth Sheehan; author


Artist Statement: " I find myself choosing printmaking, papermaking, and book arts processes because they each demand a substantial amount of time, effort, and attention. With each of these mediums, you build up an intimate relationship with your work at every stage of the process. This is particularly beneficial for my work because my concept is based in relational exploration. Additionally, the repetitious acts of printmaking, papermaking, and book arts also provide a cathartic experience and act as atonement as I work through and explore my concept."



By Beth Sheehan
[Tuscaloosa, Alabama]: Beth Sheehan, 2015-2022. Edition of 18.

4 inches x 5 inches x 1 inch (closed); 9 panels. Panels and a time-capsule housed in a clamshell box. Prints: Inkjet printing, letterpress printing and trace monotypes. Time-capsule: Inkjet printing, sand from childhood home, pebbles, clovers, eyelash. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Beth Sheehan: "Due to my lack of episodic memory, I have become obsessed with the documentation of my past. The photographs in this piece are inkjet prints of Polaroids that I took while visiting my childhood home in 2014. While home, I also documented my childhood journals. The trace-monotype text on these nine panels is from an excerpt of one of my entries. The act of re-writing the entry through trace monotype on each panel for the edition afforded me a kind of catharsis. Through the repetition, my aim was to solidify the memory of that day in my mind forever.

“The letterpress printed text was derived from my attempt to recall the events of the journal entry a year after repeatedly re-writing it. So much of the entry has disappeared from my memory, leaving me with only hints and feelings of the day long past.

“Finally, the clamshell box and time-capsule were created 7 years after the original prints were made. Science suggests that the cells in our bodies replace themselves every 7 years. This fact is particularly interesting to me when contemplating how memories are likely stored and transferred to new cells during this regeneration process. By housing the remnants of the memory in the new clamshell box, the memories remain protected and are given a new context.”

Note: “Each of the Polaroids on the front covers of the boxes are different and the contents of the time capsule inside the clamshell vary a little.”
$777 (Last 3 copies)

Memento book
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Between Tenses
By Beth Sheehan
Philadelphia, PA: Waterhouse Ltd, 2017. Edition of 70.

6.5 x 5"; 24 pages. Pamphlet structure with staple binding. Risograph printed. Introduction excerpt from "How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe" by Charles Yu. Numbered.

Beth Sheehan: "'Between Tenses' is about hovering in between the past and present. Being consumed by attempts to clarify my past inhibits my ability to form a clear memory of the present, and so it goes. The photographs used in the book were taken throughout my childhood and then altered to simulate my present memory of the events, while the white text is the voice of my present self-examining the act of recalling those fragmented moments.

"Having no episodic memory of my past, I've fixated on the documentation of my life's history, mainly through childhood photographs and my own writings that strive for clear memory. My artistic process attempts to reconcile what's left of my memory and the sense of borrowed nostalgia that comes with something that feels familiar but unreachable."

Between Tenses book
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By Beth Sheehan
Beth Sheehan, 2017. Edition of 40.

6 x 5" closed, extends to 9.5". Tunnel book structure. Screen printing using a reduction printing process. Paper cutting. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Beth Sheehan: "'Reliquary' explores the idealization of memory, particularly exploring the way memory evolves over time. When someone passes, loved ones seek to keep their memory alive to honor that person. Gravestones act as a monument of memory that spans multiples lifetimes, but after a short time, those who remember the deceased will have also passed. Creating this artist's book is my connection and tribute to the lost memories.

"This tunnel book stemmed from a workshop I took with Maria Pisano at the Center for Book Arts in New York, NY. … During my time as a resident at the Newark Print Shop in Newark, NJ, I finalized the design for the book, screen printed all of the layers, hand cut each page and assembled the books. Due to the nature of so much hand-work, each copy is slightly varied."

Reliquary book
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By Beth Sheehan
New York, NY: Beth Sheehan, 2016. Edition of 8.

5.25 x 8"; 24 pages. Print processes: Inkjet print, letterpress printing and pigment dusting. Printed on iridescent cotton paper handmade by Richard Langdell. Bound in cloth covered boards using Drum Leaf with drop-spine case binding. Signed and numbered by the artist. Designed and printed by the artist in 2015-2016 during residency as a Scholar for Advanced Studies in Book Arts at the Center for Book Arts in New York.

Beth Sheehan: "The book was inspired by a small pamphlet that I made during my time in Florence, Italy in 2012. Much of my work deals with the idealization of memory, particularly concerning relationships.

"My work can’t be divorced from the aspect of time. All of my work is about memory; the influence of memories on identity, the beauty of nostalgia, and the disfunction of memory. This book is a monument to the act of remembering. Inspired by a photo of an event in my childhood I don’t remember, my written response, and text pulled from obituaries. It is commemorating the blind glory of a moment seen through the beautiful and forgiving filter of time. This is also why I choose to make books—the nature of the book format is so devoted to aspects of time as well as intimacy."

This is a book one must take one's time with and ponder the words and images. It would be easy to miss the last page of text which is blind embossed - "while blind eyes try to focus". A reference perhaps to the fading of memory and those forgotten as the years past. Yet we, who have been left behind, try to bring those loving images forward for those that may not have known or experienced that beloved one.

Beloved book
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Page last update: 04.01.2024


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