By Joan Nies
San Diego, California: Bay Park Press, 2010. Edition of 17.
7 x 9"; 16 pages. Letterpress printed text and cover. 8 etchings. Accordion structure extending from the back interior board. Cloth bound.
Colophon: "During the 16th century a powerful religious movement came together to form Protestantism. The age is called the Reformation. The movement shattered the religious status quo, and the secular society. The reshaping of medieval Europe had such a profound effect, that the result produced the fabric of life as we know it today."
Joan Nies: "A glimpse of the middle ages written in poetic verse. The book is about the tearing down of the interiors of the cathedrals during the reformation. They destroyed works of art, altars, baptismal fonts, and then used the rubble for building materials.
"I was on a biking trip through France and we toured an old village where we met the local historian, she gave us this very enthusiastic tour of the town. There was an old farm inside the town; it had a bridge over a creek that had once been an actual altar in the cathedral. It had a name called the 'Moaning Bridge' (or something like that), the local people would not walk on it, knowing it was once part of their church. For me it was the seed of a good story. ...
"I have a penchant for medieval images, and so I built my first book around that. Each etching was very time consuming; because of the photo and the emulsion plate, most of them took about four or five tries before they came out... I even had to get educated at PhotoShop, to achieve a range of tones. The concept of the book is the bridge, (once the altar stone in the town cathedral). ...
"I had been doing some experimental work with photographs, collage, and drawing. I saw some of the books at Bay Park Press, and decided to do a book. It is all about the images - I am a painter and image maker. As for the writing: other writers' words didn't seem to make sense; even if my words sound quaint, they tell the story."
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