the creative SPARK…

There’s nothing I love quite so much as 1) a creative prompt, 2) an honest deadline, and 3) anything book-related. So, when my friends Melissa and Kelley invited me to be a part of their new Yonder Cabinet project — an artful celebration of literary landscape via traditional library card catalog drawers — I was SO excited to participate.

The inaugural Yonder drawers will be on display IRL at Maryland Art Place through June 26, and online for your viewing pleasure for always at YonderCabinet.com. The piece is part of a larger exhibit called SPARK IV: A New World?, a collaboration between artists from the UMBC and Towson University communities. So exciting.

For my literature-inspired drawer, I chose Watership Down by Richard Adams. I love everything about this book and the animated movie from the ’70s. I chose this phrase as a leaping-off point to create an embroidered paper map/tapestry:

Look” said Fiver suddenly. “That’s the place for us, Hazel. High, lonely hills, where the wind and the sound carry and the ground’s as dry as straw in a barn. That’s where we ought to be.”

– Richard Adams’ Watership Down

I began my process by building a papier-mâché base that could turn into the rolling hills of an English countryside. I love the map of the rabbits’ journey at the beginning of the book, so I thought about what a tapestry-style map of their journey might look like. It was really fun figuring out embroidery stitches to make convincing forests, train tracks, rivers and fields. I especially enjoyed creating the fields, using Xeroxed copies of this passage of the book interspersed with the woven lines of growing crops.

I’m so thankful to Yonder Cabinet creators Kelley Bell and Melissa Penley Cormier for inviting me to participate! And to Melissa for taking the beautiful photos below.

What literary landscape would you choose to fill a cabinet drawer if you had the chance? 🙂

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