March 14, 2011 - Rosa Gravino's Chapter S for the Project 26 collaborative mail-art book is a stunning piece of visual poetry. Her work is colorful and complex, often incorporating maps and map-like fields that accentuate the idea of contours within the work itself. A very nice addition to the wonderful textures she creates is the use of fabric impressions in Chapter S:
Rosa Gravino uses asemic writing liberally in this piece. She departs from the S and introduces a W that begins a chapter-within-a-chapter concept - and the primary thread that I think holds the piece together: the compass. This seems to echo the Homeric theme Katerina Nikoltsou (Greece) chose for her chapter.
I like the way Rosa presents a variation of her mapping theme in this two-page spread (above). She moves from vispo to the representation of an an antiquarian text. The idea of overlaying certainly has its roots in tradition.
The chapter starts with a snake-like S and concludes with a further exploration of the symbol on these pages. This piece is definitely a kind of Rosetta Stone (is Rosa playing on her name?) with all these inter-connected symbols. She even manages to include a mail-art hole of sorts (above, lower right). Here's the final page:
Rosa Gravino is definitely one of the Latin American poets who is doing vital and distinctive work. I also gather she is a one of those people who is a mainstay of the network, working long and hard on the part of this that keeps people connected across the globe - and over the long haul. Rosa maintains a very fine blog:
Here's Rosa's envelope:
Project 26 participants: Please note Cheryl Penn is traveling and will only be able to check in sporadically, if at all, in the days ahead. We'll all do our best to wrap up the last part of the project without her leadership. We'll certainly miss her "haffies" and "chuffs" for a bit.
Please consider participating in Valentine Mark Herman's effort to show solidarity with mail-artists in Japan. Marie Wintzer was in Tokyo and has now gone to Hiroshima (she noted the irony in a message to me), where she is safe and secure. She does manage to check in at IUOMA on a regular basis.
GB's TOP TEN (mail-art received and planned for blogging but not necessarily in this order)
JF CHAPELLE (France)
David Stafford (USA)
Ruud Janssen (Netherlands)
Carl T. Chew (USA)
Angie and Snooker the Amazing Haptic Dog (USA)
Cheryl Penn (South Africa - an amazing sort of artistic tantrum - don't miss this one from Durban's finest)
Laurence Roberts (UK)
Katerina Nikoltsou (Greece)