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Roberley Ann Bell


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1. Perfect View, St. Petersburg, 2001
Watermarked paper, handmade from abaca, with Iris print. 24x36 inches, 61x91 centimeters

2. Perfect View #2, 2001
Watermarked paper, handmade from abaca, with Iris print. 24x36 inches, 61x91 centimeters

3. Always the Immigrant, 1998
12x40x8 inches, 30x102x20 centimeters. Screenprinted handmade paper, beeswax

4. Always the Immigrant, 1998


My prints and bookworks are an extension of the themes explored in large scale installations. Over the past decade I have been involved in producing sculpture and site-specific installations that address the issues of time, place, and memory. The locale for these works range from informal pedestrian/street venues to formal museum/gallery settings. Often I imply the sexuality of space through the use of gendered objects, such as mundane vessels and wallpaper in these environments. My interest is to create an environment in which the physicality of space becomes a metaphor for the outside world, and ultimately, the threshold where memory oscillates between the past and the present.

The Perfect View project was created at Dieu Donné Papermill in New York City. It extends my interest in both domesticity and the landscape. The paper pieces are translucent sheets of abaca paper with a floral watermark and an image overprinted. The image is of a distant landscape. The translucent quality of the paper/image evoke the idea of gazing at the landscape through a landscape.

Always the Immigrant was a gallery installation at the Fine Arts Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. Using the diaries of a woman who lived 175 years ago, I have recreated a timeless story of childbirth, labor, and family ties. The 150 miniature houses combine text and visual images of the woman’s life. Accompanying the miniature houses are 300 beeswax forms that resonate of both inner organs and the vessels that feed us.