Ellen Sollod ~ Washington

Ellen Sollod: "I am motivated by a desire to arrest us in the moment, making us more aware, physically and psychologically, of our surroundings and our response to them. Social, political, historical, and environmental conditions inform my approach. Through a wide range of media, I create visual and verbal metaphors, using images and words to probe personal and social issues. I use materials symbolically believing that materials - in and of themselves - are value laden and powerful conveyers of meaning."

Lake Washington Palimpsest
By Ellen Sollod
Seattle, Washington: Grey Zone Press, 2009. Deluxe edition of 25.

10 x 8.25"; 77 numbered pages. Illustrated throughout with reproductions of original pinhole photographs by the author. Accompanied by an original archival carbon print.

Northwest Museum of Art: "Ellen Sollod explores Seattle's Lake Washington and the effect upon its shores, wetlands, and tributaries due to the 1916 construction of the Ballard Locks and the digging of the Montlake Cut. Like a palimpsest, different environmental histories were written and erased, and new ones inscribed atop and around the Lake. Sollod uncovers these layers in an exhibition that charts the history of the massive project and its ripple effects over decades, with large-scale pinhole photographs, maps, statistics, and sound recordings. The exhibition is held in conjunction with the release of Ellen Sollod's book, Lake Washington Palimpsest."

Ellen Sollod: "The 1917 completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Montlake Cut dramatically lowered Lake Washington. Shorelines were created; the Black River disappeared; routinely flooded places became dry and dry places, wet. Over the last year, I began researching this transformation, fascinated by the impact of man on the landscape. Like a palimpsest, the lake and wetlands were partially removed to make room for another text. Today, wetlands are reclaiming some of those areas and returning them to their earlier form. In others, man's encroachment remains.

"This is my attempt to reveal the illusive story of this intervention: my research, and a selection of pinhole photographs and soundscapes I composed in response to this altered landscape."

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The Napkin Project
By Ellen Sollod
Seattle, Washington: Ellen Sollod, 2003. Edition of 60.

4.75 x 10"; 2 cloth dinner napkins; 1 page. Text letterpress printed on Velin Arches and Rives BFK Heavyweight. Bodoni type. Laid into a paper wrapper.

Ellen Sollod: "Created in response to the pre-emptive war on Iraq in spring 2003 for delivery to 60 people around the world whose actions can foster peace.

"[This] collaborative project incorporate[es] artwork by Ellen Sollod and poetry by Ginny Hoyle. … The Napkin Project encouraged recipients to "instead of war, break bread."

"The artwork consisted of two dinner napkins, patinated by use and embroidered with a möbius strip, a notation for infinity as a symbol for hope, and a letter press-printed poem, in case of war. All were contained in a hand embossed box."

In case of war
Break glass.
Gather the children. Pour rice
through their outstretched fingers
into the fire. ...
In time of war, lives
shine like promises,
break like glass.

$600 (Last two copies)

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Page last update: 04.09.10

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