Sara R. Parr ~ Minnesota

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Anne Boleyn: The Most Happy
by Sara R. Parr
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Sara R. Parr, 2016. Edition of 20.

10.25" x 4.5" closed, extends to 27"; 12 pages. Accordion structure. Interior processes: monoprint, photolithography, letterpress (polymer and handset type). Printed on white mulberry paper. Exterior processes: polymer letterpress with woodcut on tan Rives BFK. In slipcase of black denim St. Armand Canal paper with polymer stamp. Signed and numbered by the artist on the case. Includes production notes pamphlet (4.25 x 6.75"; 16 pages) in black wraps.

Texts used are Pietro Carrera, sourced from 'Birth of the Chess Queen' by Marilyn Yalom; line 13 from 'Whoso List to Hunt' by Sir Thomas Wyatt; mottoes from Anne Boleyn's household sourced from 'The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn' by Eric Ives.

Sara Parr: "My inquiry into Anne comes out of curiosity of women's experiences in history and is driven by the mystery that still shrouds Anne as a person. She has been written about extensively, but there are few primary sources that survive, so what is known of Anne as a person is second- or third-hand, which, for better or worse, leaves much to the imagination.

"In designing the book itself, I found much inspiration in the trappings of Tudor England including design and architecture. … Color is used boldly and deliberately in the interior to show moods and emotions, and bound by the simple and clean lines of architectural drawings representing the Tudor period and its conventions.

"In addition to research on Anne and the Tudor time period, I also searched for a trope to help tell her story visually. I need something that could represent the structure of Tudor society – monarch, nobility, peerage, subject, along with its institutions – the church, the court and the law. I found that trope in the game of chess.

"The series of chess games … is a collaboration between myself and Zoltan Kiss, the former president of the University of Minnesota Chess Club. I provided a brief narrative for each page of the book, and Zoltan interpreted that narrative into movements on the chessboard. The notation provided comes out of the program ChessBaseLight and marks only the endpoints of each pieces movement.

"The opening quote is from chess player and historian, Pietro Carrera.… The other phrases included are all references to
Anne Boleyn: 'The Most Happy' is a household motto chosen after her marriage to Henry and being crowned queen."

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Sara R. Parr Out of Print Title:

By Sara Parr
Minneapolis, Minnesota: Sara R. Parr, 2007. Edition of 35.

4.25 x 5.5"; 60 pages. Japanese stab bound. Laser printed text on Staedler 100% rag vellum. Typefaces: Hoefler Text, Jenson Pro, Caslon Pro, and Florens.

Includes excerpts and adaptations from Sylvia Plath's The Collected Poems, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Each page is doubled and has the outline of a black rectangle — presumably the mirror — printed on the inner fold. The words, out of context, sometimes alone, sometimes with orphans from different works, appear on the white, translucent vellum along with words or phrases (printed sometimes on the surface, sometimes on the folded under sides) that show through from contiguous pages. It is like hearing — although in fact you are seeing — echoes or resonances. The effect is to present a multivoiced, multilayered meditation on the mirror, or is it mirrorness?

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Sweet Love, Sweet Thorn
Text by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Minneapolis, Minnesota: Sara R. Parr, 2008. Edition of 7.

3.5 x 4.5"; 10 pages. Images and text letterpress printed with photopolymer plates on a Vandercook 219 press onto on Rives BFK paper. Drum leaf binding with pink paper covered boards.

Images are from photographs of blackthorn bushes around Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland. The text is from the poem Sweet Love, Sweet Thorn by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

"I had not so come running at the call / Of one who loves me little, if at all."

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Page last update: 11.14.16


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