Forming Common Threads

By Mari Eckstein Gower
Redmond, Washington: Mari Eckstein Gower, 2018. Edition of 40.

8 x 11" closed; 48 pages. Inkjet printing. Illustrations created from original watercolor and ink paintings. Materials: linen, silk and paper threads, Mohawk Superfine cover paper, Japanese Tarasen patterned papers, vellum paper. Bound with a modified stitched drumleaf format in cloth-covered boards. Gatefold cover. Art, design & text by Mari Eckstein Gower. Book fabrication by Kat Gower. Dated, signed and numbered by the artist.

Mari Eckstein Gower, introduction: "'Forming Common Threads' examines how storytelling informs, inspires, and transforms our lives. I’ve taken stories of strong women from history and myth and used them as a form of antidote to the belittling, toxic and hurtful comments I grew up with.

"Traditionally myths, histories, and all the best stories have been a means of communicating deep truths about human existence. Many of these tend to be cautionary tales such as beware of candy houses in the forest. The stories I find most appealing, however, are those about overcoming obstacles through courage, tenacity, and a willingness to look beyond the obvious. To me, these are the type of tales that form a thread of ideas with the power to inspire me to move forward.

"When I was young, I was often told things like, 'Girls can’t do that.' Instead of allowing such stifling comments stop me, I’d study historical examples as a form of psychic Band-Aid for the hurt. Looking at the accomplishments of women like Amelia Earhart or Nellie Bly, I’d think, 'Wait a minute. They didn’t let being female stop them from flying an airplane or writing exposes.'

"As I watch the growing momentum of the #MeToo phenomena lift veils of silence, I am awed by the power of the simple but brave act of telling one’s story. The more often these stories are revealed, the stronger the fabric of truth. "All the quotes in this book are taken from my personal experiences. Remembering many of those conversations dredges up uncomfortable memories. Bu I've traveled back to those painful places because I feel strongly that the subject of this book deserves absolute honesty."