FRAGMENTS OF LIGHT 5 2010
by Jalaluddin Mohammad Rumi.
Translated by Zahra Partovi.
Sculpture by Linda Schrank.
Edition: 35. 
Calligraphy: Jerry Kelly.
Type: Alcuin (modified)
Laser: Studio Associates.
Binding: Zahra Partovi.
Box: Hands On Bookbinding.
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2”.
Preparing to create Fragments of Light 5, I read the Rumi poem again and again. As I read and reread, the image of a dark lantern, its interior filled with brilliant light, began to take shape in my mind. At first I struggled to find a suitable structure for embodying this haunting image, until it occurred to me to begin with the form of an ancient Chinese slat book, whose “pages” were made of bamboo or bark and fastened together with string or rope. 

For the cover of my book, I chose a black ultra suede to suggest the lantern's exterior. I made the interior “pages," including the title and colophon pages, of transparent acrylic slats incised with a laser to create the English and Persian text. Connected by long multi-colored filaments, the slats can be lifted and extended. When the book opens, the glowing color of its central core is revealed. The core and slats, like glass, also reflect the viewer’s hands along with the text, heightening self-awareness, binding the reader to the words, and evoking a sense of ritual. In choosing materials that reflect and capture light, my aim was simultaneously to honor Rumi’s words and dematerialize them.  

Linda Schrank
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