a collaboration between Thomas Ingmire,
Dorothy Sharrar, and David Annwn
San Francisco, 2013
7.75 x 11.25 inches, 26 pages
The name of the book comes from the title of a poem written by David Annwn. The project at the outset was a long distance collaboration between Dorothy Sharrar and me. Dorothy lives in Portland and my studio is in San Francisco. We have, for a number of years, had a shared interest in language and calligraphy and decided to express this in a joint book making project. I began the Asters book by creating the first two pages which I then mailed to Dorothy. She responded with a third page drawing and returned the pages. I followed with the next page drawing and we continued on the path or chain of alternative responses. Dorothy created initial pages for a second book which followed the same process.
After about a year our mutual back and forth collaboration ended and we each keep one of the books. I looked at my book from time to time, wrestling with the feeling that the work was somehow incomplete. It occurred to me one day to contact David Annwn, a poet with whom I have often worked, to see if he would be willing to use the images as inspiration for a poem. He responded by writing the poem Asters of Risk. With his response he wrote, "As I looked at and lived with Dorothy's and your work the idea of flashes of creativity 'coming through from other levels began to form. My poem takes up with the idea of discontinuities or gaps. Asters are both stars and flowers."
After receiving David's poem (which David had written in his own hand) I worked back into the original book and introduced drawing into David's poetry pages.