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Book of the Week — Ingress / Egress

“A book is an architectural space where you can wander about, looking back and forth, all around, in and out, opening and closing doors — it’s your room.”

Ingress / Egress
Ellen Knudson
Gainesville, FL: Crooked Letter Press, 2015
N7433.4 K58 I54 2015

Celebrated annually, Read Across America Day was first established in 1998 by the National Education Association. The objective was to get children excited about reading by developing interactive activities and events to take place in schools and communities across the country. Although Read Across America Day is a reading program typically focused toward young children, it is also a great opportunity for readers of every age to appreciate the role of reading, and of books, in all of our lives.

“A book is a place expressed by an artist and explored by the reader.”

Even in the digital age, libraries continue to be valuable repositories of books. Most people, when thinking of a book, first envision a rectangular shape – this shape is made up of a stack of papers which are bound on one end and encased between covers, sometimes hard, sometimes soft. We are comfortable with this image of a book. It has, over time, come to refer to a single object. 

“This is where you exist right now.”

Books, however, can be a lot of different things. For book artist Ellen Knudson, they are architecture, collections, environments, maps, plans, and processes. The intent of her work, Ingress/Egress, is to encourage ideation on the theme “books are.”

“A book provides a defined space and visual system to explore an environment.”

The book is made of six French-fold structures printed on Japanese mulberry paper from photopolymer plates by Boxcar Press. The translucency of the mulberry paper produces layers of reading in each of the books, increasing the potential of interaction of layers among the entire collection. 

“A book is a place where we cull, sort, and put things in order.”

Using geometry, visual design, text and imagery, the books explore topics such as “books are architecture” and “books are collections.” Typefaces used are Humanist 521 BT, Spectrum MT, and Spindle — drawn by the author.

“A book is a recipe where all the ingredients are visible and the enjoyment is in devouring the finished project.”

Ingress/Egress was issued in an edition of fifty copies with wrapper made from Colorplan paper and a Blue Dover book cloth covered clamshell enclosure. Rare Books copies are numbers 16 and 23. 


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