Glass House

By Ann Lovett
New Paltz, New York: Ann Lovett, 2009. Edition of 12.

6.5 x 9 x 1.25"; 68 pages. Pigmented inkjet print on rag paper. Drumleaf binding with breakaway spine. Bound in silk cloth covered boards.

Ann Lovett: "Glass House explores the 1984 death of Ann Lovett, a young Irish woman with whom I share the same name. She was 15, pregnant and unmarried, when she was found dying from hemorrhage and exposure with her stillborn son in a grotto to the Virgin behind the Catholic church in Granard, Ireland. It is unclear whether her family or community knew of her pregnancy or offered any help. The family has never spoken publicly of her death, or of her sister’s three months later from an overdose of prescription drugs. The father of her child has never come forward or been identified. Three months before her death the Irish voted to support a referendum effectively making the existing ban on abortion part of the country’s constitution.

"The book explores issues of vulnerability and protection, privacy and exposure, sensuality and the failures of Catholicism in her life. The glass house functions as a metaphor and is reflected as well in the subject of these photographs, glass domed grave decorations traditionally seen in Catholic graveyards in Ireland. Over time they become fogged with condensation, broken or half filled with water, obscuring the religious figures within and the faith they are intended to embody. The text is a book-length poem, written as though in Ann’s voice."

A puncture wound
      spills red on cloth
      rose-blood bloom along the seam
      trickling down…