The imagery in Vanishing revolves around insects currently considered threatened or endangered. They are part of the insect apocalypse. Threats to their survival include habitat loss and fragmentation, invasion of non-native species, pesticide application, and global warming.
The poems bring our attention to the tiny but rich, and too often overlooked, world of insects. Each insect plays an important part in the health of the ecosystem it inhabits.
The unique challenge of the collaborative edition, was how to capture a somber and reverent tone while illuminating the beauty and delight these creatures bring to our environment.
Materials & Technique
Vanishing is a collaboration Rhiannon Alpers, Holly Downing and Jane Hirshfield
Jane Hirshfield wrote the poems. Holly Downing engraved and hand-colored the eleven 3” x 3” mezzotints. Rhiannon Alpers designed, letterpress printed, and bound the edition. She also made the handmade paper for the interleaved pages.
The papers are Rives BFK from France, Arjowiggins Kea Kolour Vellum Sombre Grey, and a handmade cotton rag that was created by Rhiannon Alpers for the edition. The enclosure is a drop spine magnet box with a museum glass panel in Dubletta bookcloth.
The artist book was produced in an edition of twenty.
About Rhiannon Alpers
Rhiannon Alpers is a papermaker, letterpress printer, and book artist. She has an MFA and a BA in Book Arts and papermaking. She has taught workshops and college courses nationally and exhibited internationally in the realm of book art. Rhiannon now produces artwork under the name Gazelle and Goat Paperie located in Denver, Colorado, and works as the Director for the Inter-Ocean Studios.