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Maelyn Palmer

Blank Pages
Coptic-bound books, mixed papers and textiles
10 books, all 5.75″ – 9″ x 3.75″ – 6″ x 0.5″ – 2″

Dear Diary #dontignorethis
Longstitch-bound book, linen, laminated handmade paper
5.5″ x 6″ x 0.5″

Drum-leaf bound book, mixed papers and media
5.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.75″

Photographs by the artist

The following video contains no spoken audio as the artist flips through the multimedia journal entitled “April”.

In this body of work, I explore journaling and its implications as an art form.  A journal or diary may be private, but its purpose is to leave a record.  It fulfills the basic human need to make a difference and so, despite the privacy traditionally associated with journaling, it longs to be seen.  Blogging and other public forms of expressing and sharing thoughts may be more genuine in their pursuit of this goal, shouting out to the world, as graffiti does, that someone existed.  Someone was here and they had thoughts and feelings and experiences and there is evidence–evidence put right in front of people who can definitely see it.  And yet, blogging or other forms of social media can be so impersonal as to almost be meaningless, often projecting a persona so divorced from reality in an attempt to either remain anonymous or avoid embarrassment that the marks left behind say nothing at all about the person who left them.  This year, in light of the ongoing pandemic, the lines between public and private have already been necessarily blurred, as we invite others into our homes and private spaces through video and stay away from the more public places where our roles and ways of interacting were previously so comfortingly well-defined; this project comments on that as well.

By intentionally redefining journaling as art, placing books of both my public and private thoughts into a gallery for people to see, I’m leaving my mark.  I’m shouting, with each page I carefully bind into a new casing, with each word I pen and each image I paint or print, “I am here!  I exist now, and I will continue to do so and I refuse to be frightened of exactly the attention I am seeking!” Each page, even the empty ones, even the ones that will never be used to document more than the time I spent placing them, expresses a moment of my life.  Each stitch, each scrap of lace, each button… it’s all evidence.