Kensa Rescorla 3.0#12 (Kensa – Forty Years Later) An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 9th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

I have had another book from Kensa, titled Hurting. This book tells me more about the reason for the last book – sadly. But Kensa is not asking for sympathy because there is renewal and a new path in this intimate book – there is hope.

Hope in the form of a daughter, a degree, a time healing in the woods and hope of regeneration. This is another very interesting artists book which deals with autobiographical material in a personal and intimate manner, without resorting to any sort of artistic cliché. Thanks for letting the members of 3.0#12 in Kensa – and MAN – its a reminder that Life Happens…

Background(s) – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 7th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

(A painting contemplation)

background: The part of a pictorial representation that appears to be in the distance and that provides relief for the principal objects in the foreground – or the part of a picture, scene, or design that forms a setting for the main figures or objects, or appears furthest from the viewer:

I am not certain if its called a painting ‘crisis’ at this stage, but I am questioning most things about this medium. Take backgrounds for example – far too many I have seen lately are dealt with as some sort of after thought. When one looks at a persons background, is the person a totality of these factors? On an important level I would think so. How does one introduce this historic totality into a painting?

We are the sum total of our ancestors I heard once – this means without our background we cannot be in any ‘picture’. Some people are able to embrace that past, some people shy away from it and others again try extinguishment. Following that thought, should not a painting background hold all the past information that resulted in the image?

I try to do that by cleaning brushes, collaging current texts, writing notes, doodling, walking – WHATEVER onto wood pulp (my current ground of choice), before I even know exactly what the final image will look like. What I do know is that the background of the final work bears in it a history of wherever I am – and therefore what the painting will become. It is not insignificant or treated as an afterthought – it is an intrinsic part of the painting. It is the history of HOW that painting came to be. Ad then I cut it up in search of the ‘perfect’ painting??

Anthology of Doodles – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 4th April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

I’m trying to make up my mind how many Doodles to fit per book – after all it must be a BOOK. BUT its an anthology… The collection is growing – many thanks to all of you who are returning the sheets :-) – in order of current appearance:
Nadine Wendell Mojica (USA)
Nadine draws (doodles!) characters that I KNOW – her work is never without  wisdom implication. Advert (because I can!) her son has a book coming out in April – “May all of our biographies contain at least one shocking twist (Morley)

Bifidus Jones (USA)
A valued correspondent who has been in hiding lately (chased by life?) BUT who returned his doodle sheet – drawings done without lifting his pen – reminiscent of Picasso and the bull

Vittore Baroni (Italy) needs no introduction – these doodles arrived with a packed envelope and the fragrance of psychedelic postal mania:

MusicMaster (Tom Cassidy) USA – this is my first REAL postal encounter with the MusicMaster – we have ‘met’ intermittently through the postings of John Bennett – I’m hugely pleased to received his doodles ‘in the flesh’. They’re another surreal world AND contain a realtime Official Fluxus Doodle.

David Stone by Cheryl Penn An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 2nd April 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

Book 4 in the series I am tackling on artists. With their permission, I use original notes/pages, work I have received through the post. In making this book I created pockets from David’s envelopes which act as sleeves into which the poetry is inserted – and can then be removed from.

David Stone’s BRIEF biography – I mean, how can this describe the LIFE of a man?
David Stone was born in Chicago on Christmas morning in 1949, studied philosophy and literature at the University of Illinois, DePaul University, Lake Forest College and Tel Aviv University. In the early 1970s he read his early poetry in cafes in Chicago and published poetry in mimeo pamphlets. Relocating to Baltimore in 1997, Stone founded the Blackbird Institute which to date has produced 11 issues of the Blackbird anthology. An author of many poetry collections published by small presses, Stone’s 2008-2012 collection, The Crystal Prism, published by Giant Steps Press, will soon be available for order on Amazon.

I became aware of the poetry for David Stone through Mail Art correspondence in early 2012. Poetry is NOT my field of expertise, I just love words – the way they seek their own connections. Are there formal theoretical, poetic considerations to be taken into account when reading David’s poems? I don’t know – the poems form a spontaneous path from David’s intensely personal creative process. He – and therefore we, see life through his staccato phrases.
Take the following lines from Strait 2 14/2/2014
In the Athenian Room,
theater masks disguised with ash,
contaminated bottles
served on gas flames,
ivory figurines
with columnized coal breath.
I go straight there – to that room, and wonder, is it here and now or there and then? Is it history or present, is it joy or death? I see complexity, inevitable in the heart of a moral individual. I read an ironic voice, one who uses the poem as a self-referential object, caught between then and now, disturbed by what he sees and the where/what/how/if
he feels.

Tangents abound, an urban environment presses in, “and assembled scares/ whizzed by outside””.
In the end I too am forced to ask
“Which way is the exit”?

David is also the editor of Blackbird, now in its 11th edition. (Blackbird Institute, Baltimore). This current publication draws on the work of 58 artists from around the world. Its form is eclectic, which adds to its appeal. This photocopied work is reminiscent of the alternate publishing methods of the 50’s and 60’s. (Text taken from David’s article for the catalogue Mail Art Makes the World A Town)
“My engagement with poetry and mailart goes back to the mid 1990s with Harry Burrus’ 0!!Zone.
When I moved from the midwest to Baltimore in 1997,I began Blackbird by sending invites to contributors to 0!!Zone describing the project. Its original inspiration was the Blackbird poem of Paul Celan, Anredsam, which refers to speech. Paul Celan was of course a Holocaust survivor who wrote his poetry in German language while living in Paris. The blackbird, Amsel, in the poem is mute and one-winged, flew over the firewall and hovers behind Paris. I asked contributors to speak for the mute bird. Blackbird accepts textual poetry, visual poetry, some prose, photography. The project has been ongoing since 1997”.

Re-Visiting Andreas Feininger – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 31st March 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

An email correspondent of mine wrote yesterday (30/3/2014)
with the following observation:
“I must say, without any snark intended, that you seem to have been reduced by your mail-art efforts into making far too many boekies”.
I am not siting the author as I have taken the comment from another context, and feel it required further engagement in order to see whether there was merit in the statement or not.

It certainly got me thinking.
Then I came across this partially done work and was reminded of WHY An Encyclopedia of Everything came about. I’m not certain if you are swamped with ideas that HAVE to find some sort of ‘’home’ before they scatter to the 4 winds, forgotten.
This vade mecum would be a typical example of why a small book format suits my current working methodology.
Previously, each of the books I made were BOOK WORKS, some taking months to complete. The result of that was in in-depth (sometimes) concern with 3 or 4 subjects at a time. I could not let my ideas off the leash. Once that body of work was complete, I HAD to find a new way to record ideas, – and remember – sometimes its just an idea, not a full blown work.

We’re so saturated with good imagery, that its seldom ones attention is truly grabbed. I started reading about him, but with MUCH on my plate, there was little I could do but tickle the surface of this great artist.
He wrote:
“That’s so important for making good photographs. Photographers — idiots, of which there are so many — say, “Oh, if only I had a Nikon or a Leica, I could make great photographs.” That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard in my life. It’s nothing but a matter of seeing, and thinking, and interest.” Those words – “its nothing but a matter of seeing, and thinking and interest” are a pivotal thought from which the concept of An Encyclopedia of Everything flows.

Prior to reading about Andreas Feininger I had distorted his image and imposed text/mechanical parts/distortions onto the original image. I was attempting to see what could be done with something already extraordinary. I am not saying I succeeded, BUT the idea now has a home, and should the work wish to BECOME at a later stage, its on record and I’ll know where to find it.

The book works in a cyclical manner – it opens with the original image as a double spread, is progressively distorted, added to, and then the changes are undone until the viewer arrives back at the starting point. MUCH more can be done with this work, but now is not the time. This is preparation, just in case. Right now, this record is enough.


Vessels in Dispute Book 2 An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 29th March 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

Vessels in Dispute (Bhubezi Mythology) Book 2

Theo Nelson (Canada) sent me some vessels he had painted, wondering if they fitted in with the Bhubezi mythology – of course they did.

Reclining in the arms of Morpheus, Theodore dreamed of Bowler Hatted Eyeball Stalks and Windows. He dreamed of Fish Bowl Leaf Trees, Quadro Ped Leaves, more windows and Clowns. He had no idea, but Between was calling and it wouldn’t be long before The Red Giraffe would come knocking. This book deals with the so-called Aladdin’s Lamp and its current masquerade as a lantern in Gerald’s dusty guitar shop, the burial urn of Empress Zhangsun and the Neptune Dish. These are all genuine artifacts of course, they’re just not understood as they should be.

15 – 20 parts of each of these paintings is scattered throughout the world. It is fortunate they will never come together.

Word Associations – An Encyclopedia of Everything


Posted on 27th March 2014 by cheryl in Uncategorized

Word Associations:

Word Association is a common word game involving an exchange of words that are coupled together, either with random or perceptual connotations. These patterns of associations are generally the first word that comes to mind on hearing/reading a given word. Exchanges are often fast and unpredictable, but it is said that logical patterns can be found without difficulty.

Association is one of the basic mechanisms of memory, and as such can be seen as natural classifiers of the conceptual content of the vocabulary of the language. This book was made with Jeanette Gilks.