Because of the depth of my work with Joyce and puzzle of fitting images of his words, my study of his writings found its way to my studio. Vincent and I had made a number of editions of prints after Joyce, both Joyce portraits and images from the writings. In the studio I made paintings, drawings, watercolors, collages, and three-dimensional pieces to the writings of Joyce. Many of these works were visual balances for sections of Finnegans Wake. I had a vision of the “Brideship and Gulls” chapter of Finnegans Wake as images in a square format with a square piece of the interior missing, what I call a square donut. This is a metaphor for the obscurities and puzzles in this writing of Joyce’s. I made two large canvases in this form, expressing two of the layers of meaning and myth in this chapter. Vincent suggested we make a book in this form. We worked out a concept for this, a box of six images as “window frames” surrounding the small square book of words. To me it was like the illuminations of thirteenth-century monks, surrounding biblical words with loving images. In that spirit I mentally separated six of the tangled layers of meaning in this chapter and described them in six large square drawings. These drawings were studies that became line etchings. We then, like those long-gone monks, hand painted and gold leafed each and every one. The illuminated etchings were then mounted on boards, nestled in their handsome book. The words in their own lovely small book rest in the middle. This book is conceptually wondrous and carried out to perfection. I am immodestly proud of it. This Joyce odyssey, which began when I was a little girl and continues now, has been a deeply satisfying part of my like. By working with these books I have passed the day when I had to choose a path, writer or painter. Now word and image are tied closely together and I am whole.

Susan Weil
speaking of the publication Brideship and Gulls

Vincent, Michael and I worked together with much mutual respect and sympathy, and in 1993 Vincent suggested we collaborate on a second publication. He wanted to make a book in celebration of the coming millennium. Michael volunteered to write an original text in response to a series of my photographs of New York City cast-iron columns. These columns were selected for their aesthetic qualities, solid structural design, and melancholy deterioration to stand as symbols for the twentieth century. Vincent designed the pages of the book as accordion folds which can be read page by page as a traditional book, or opened up, spread out and viewed on both sides. We made a model of the accordion with pictures in place ad left blank pages for text. Michael, who was inspired by the photos, wrote an evocative and magical long poem, which he titled After. I showed Vincent a group of photos I had taken of the Parthenon pediments’ sculptures, which are housed in the British Museum in London. He admired them and wanted to publish a portfolio of prints using the statues as subject matter. It was our intention to create a frieze-like work of my fragments of the incomplete remains of the sculptures that has astonished me by their beauty and refinement. I selected twenty-four images and laid them out horizontally on five rectangular pieces of paper. We chose photoetching as our printing process, a less complicated technique than photogravure. It produces a charcoal-like drawing effect that helped conceal the deterioration of the sculptures that were made in the fifth-century B.C.E. We printed the etchings using black ink and, in a process called chine collé, we added color by adhering thin sheets of colored tissue paper onto the heavier, larger sheets of paper. Vincent designed a unique portfolio for the prints and commissioned a distinguished calligraphic title page. Producing the portfolio was a more straightforward endeavor than creating a book. The result, however, was no less lovely and satisfying.

Judith Turner
speaking of the publication After
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