Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Not an Open Book (submission for "The Pulse of Mixed Media")

I created this mixed media altered book/ assemblage as a submission for Seth Apter's book "The Pulse of Mixed Media" to be published in Spring 2012.  While my piece wasn't selected for inclusion, the experience of making it was an invaluable one.  I had done some assemblages in the past, but had never made one from a book, so there was a good deal of trial and error involved.  I ended up taking the cover off the book and attaching it to an old game board, which was not in my original plan.  My good friend Cynnie, of Galerie 46, helped me figure out how to re-construct it so it would open like a book without tearing.  I learned so much from this project, both technically and personally, and hope to create more work like this in the near future.

Here is the text I wrote to accompany my submission:

My Innermost Self- Sharmon Davidson
“Not an Open Book”

Probably the most intensely personal work I’ve ever created, this piece also represents somewhat of a departure from my usual two dimensional format.  The “fairytale book” motif relates to the belief that our most fundamental selves are formed in childhood, and to the important part that fairytales and their illustrations have played in my development as an artist.  Because the innermost self is, by definition, hidden, I have used two locking doors to conceal images symbolizing the two sides of myself.  Behind the left door is the darker side of my nature- the fears and insecurities that hold me back as I strive to become the person I want to be, reflected by the tethered bird who tries to fly.  Like most of us, I have allowed “monsters” of my own creation to frighten me.  The right door reveals self-acceptance, hope, and the potential for positive change.  The vintage pattern pieces were used by my grandmother to make maternity clothes for my mother, adding another layer of meaning to the piece. In the end, I begin to see a pattern for stitching myself together in a new way, and have captured the “monster” inside the egg- a symbol of transformation.  Perhaps my darker nature, too, will transform as the egg breaks open.

(click on photos for closer view)

 front, both covers closed

right front cover

left front cover (with spine)

 left side open

left side,back

inside left cover

right front cover

  right cover open

inside front left

inside right

inside back

The words on the back left page come from one of my favorite songs by Paula Cole:


  1. oh wow, lest we forget...your fabulous project. It looks even better than when I last saw it. Love the writings and just to see it again. It is beautiful to say the least. Oh heavens,,,thanks so much for the little "plug":)you are too kind.
    Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday Sharmon.

  2. wow, sharmon!! just WOW! this is wonderful and resonates deeply... xoxo

  3. Dear Sharmon,
    this artwork is absolutely brilliant!

    a big hug,

  4. This is great stuff Sharmon!

  5. This is such a beautiful and heartfelt work of art Sharmon. I only wish I had more pages in my book so I could have included it!

  6. This is such an impressive piece of work! Fabulous.

  7. Wow that is beautiful. Just stunning piece of art. More!

  8. This is wonderful..It is truly beautiful.

  9. Sharmon- You take us all the core - the words so many of us know...our own worst enemy. We wander through our lives and while we cannot stop these moments of doubt - we must always be conscious of treating ourselves as we would a friend. This is a lovely and poignant piece. xo teri

  10. Truly gorgeous work...per light.

  11. So personal, rich, complex and layered with meaning and techniques. It seems a very rewarding experience for you on many levels, and a privilege to be allowed to see within. The song goes with it so beautifully.

  12. like all books, I just want to hold it! Looks really beautiful, great layering, complex but not too busy!

  13. c'est très beau! félicitation !

  14. wow, what a fabulous project!! thanks for being generous and honest in sharing your 'self' and process for creating this piece - love it!!!


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