WHERE Sea & Sky Meet

Where Sea & Sky Meet

Case: 9.2″ w x 9.2″ h x 1.3″ d

(23.3 x 23.3 x 3.3 cm)

Accordion structure

extends to 145.5″ (369 cm)


The case is covered with a pale gold raw silk; inner flaps & lining are of Fabriano Ingres; woven ribbon closure is embroidered with crystal beads & pearls.

Accordion pages are 100% cotton rag Hahnemühle Smooth Fine Art Paper. Images & an original text by the artist are printed with Epson UltraChrome K3 inks.

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In Between Sea & Sky, an artist book I created about Venice in 2010, I explained how the first time I saw Venice I was “struck by the image of the narrow ribbon of land running between the expanse of water before it and the stretch of sky overhead.” Venice: Where Sea & Sky Meet, an artist’s book I made in 2011, took yet another look at this concept of the line running along the horizon. But I found I still wasn’t finished exploring this initial, lingering impression that Venice has imprinted on my mind.

In this latest version, the multiple elements I chose to highlight in the earlier books—pleated folds mimicking the “sweeping curves of the Grand Canal,” accordion structures sewn together to recall “the way in which Venice’s lacy urban fabric is stitched together by hundreds of little bridges” and draped beads recreating the “movement of the famous Venetian chandeliers”—all recede. The focus shifts fully to the narrow ribbon of land. This central theme is expressed through a progression of horizontal imagery as the book is experienced by the reader.

After removing the ribbon encircling the cover, the split cover boards lift to reveal a pair of inner flaps with a silhouette of Venice’s skyline. Upon opening these flaps, the words Where Sea & Sky Meet are found scrolling across the midline of the first page of the book. Organized around a single line of text that runs through the entire accordion structure are one-hundred-and-twenty-seven images of Venice. As the pages unfold, the mosaic of photos continues to lengthen, recreating the line on the horizon while alluding to the rich layers found within the ‘ribbon’ of land that is Venice.

My favorite way to document my visits to Venice is with the camera . . . Even upon returning, as I review the fleeting moments that I was able to capture, I want to consume the colors of the ever-changing lagoon, to drink the reflections, to indulge once again in the light and shadow outlining stone details. Although I am often content to experience a place in the moment, recording it mainly through my sense of memory (at least to a degree—words always flow out insistently at some point), I can’t seem to keep the lens cover on my camera when I’m in Venice. I have a feeling this latest photographic exploration of the city will not be the last book about bella Venezia. . .