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Glenview Mansion Art Gallery installation Sept 2016

I submitted a proposal to the curatorial staff at Glenview to do a site specific installation and response to the gallery space. I was offered a choice of two rooms and chose the room next to Mrs Lyon Smith's dressing room, which has been historically replicated and installed. I decided to get clothing reminiscent of the eras during which the mansion saw its height of activity and social entertaining. The photos here are installation views and the following two projects are photos documenting the costumes and the printing designs I created on them.

  • fullsizeoutput_5c41.jpeg

    North wall of gallery. Sewing patterns on wall are printed with Scrabble design. The mannequin is wearing a Center Stage Costume printed with Scrabble pattern on the legs only, and vintage black opera gloves with printing. The brown wool coat dress is on the dress form.
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    Installation view of south wall. Clothes rack is against the west wall, which falls adjacent to the dressing room of Mrs Lyon Smith. The fireplace contains a book I created - printed on felted paper in vibrant fire colors, and folded in origami tessellation configuration. The rocking chairs have also been printed with Scrabble design and senryu.
  • install view b.JPG

    Installation view of gallery room with clothing, fireplace book, sewing patterns on walls, and gloves on vintage coffee table.
  • IMG_4467.JPG

    Installation view of adjacent summer sleeping room gallery space. I developed the hanging sculptural pieces to reflect the light filtering through the many windows. The hanging pieces (titled ERR), have pendant crystals hanging below the fabric.
  • fireplace b.JPG

    Installation view of the south wall, including fireplace. The rocking chairs are printed with Scrabble design as well as senryu. The fireplace area has long held a tradition of sitting by a fire and reading. The book on the mantle is one of my codex books. The image above the mantle is printed on the same felted paper as the fireplace book.
  • fireplace book b.JPG

    A Scrabble-deisgned book for the fireplace...origami tessellation folds on felted paper.
  • install view a.JPG

    Long view of the installation, looking out toward the summer sleeping porch area.
  • gloves d.JPG

    View of vintage gloves installed in gallery

Glenview Mansion Art Gallery/specific costumes

In September of 2016 I installed a specific response to the gallery assigned to me, which was adjacent to Mrs Lyon Smith's dressing room. She was a Washington socialite who entertained at the mansion from 1920s-1950s. I obtained costumes from Center Stage that referenced these eras and screen printed on them as well as vintage gloves and sewing patterns.

In the fireplace, I positioned a book made on felted paper and folded into origami tessellation design to evoke a sense of a fire.
On the walls are located sewing patterns of period era clothing upon which I screen printed my Scrabble design.

These ten photos are details of several of the costumes acquired and printed with my Scrabble design.

  • WWII brown wool coat front.JPG

    This is a costume from Center Stage Theatre in Baltimore MD. It is a replica of a 1940s WWII era wool coat dress. I screen printed my Scrabble design onto the front and back (if you compare them side to side, you will see the subtle shift of color field). The gloves are vintage leather gloves, also printed with my Scrabble design.
  • WWII brown wool coat back.JPG

    Reverse of brown wool coat dress from WWII, a costume from Center Stage Theatre Baltimore
  • white wool strapless front a.JPG

    Era related white wool dress printed with my Scrabble design. Part of Glenview Mansion installation Sept 2016. Vintage gloves also screen printed
  • split panel w jacket no jacket front.JPG

    1940s era split panel skirt dress with vintage blue gloves, printed with my Scrabble design.
  • split panel w jacket detail.JPG

    detail of 1940s split panel dress and jacket. This is the jacket, where I printed senryu along the bottom band of the jacket.
  • prairie dress w cape back.JPG

    This well made heavy linen costume evokes the era of prairie days. The skirt, blouse, jacket are each printed with a combination of Scrabble design and senryu.
  • prairie dress w cape front.JPG

    Period costume from Center Stage Theatre in Baltimore. Screen printed with my Scrabble design. Heavy linen fabric
  • multipanel black dress w jewel collar front.JPG

    Multipanel dress with jewel collar, a real vintage find! Gorgeous vintage dress printed with Scrabble design in soft white and red, interwoven with senryu.
  • lounge wear side.JPG

    Another remarkable find, this delicate loungewear was acquired from Center Stage Theatre in Baltimore, and under printed with my Scrabble design. The soft layers of chiffon drape elegantly over the printing.
  • lace blouse left.JPG

    Delicate lace blouse from Center Stage Theatre, printed with my Scrabble design.

Glenview Mansion Art Gallery/specific costumes

More in the series of costumes that I had acquired from Center Stage Theatre in Baltimore. It was necessary to repair, mend, destain, and wash many of the costumes before they were ready for printing.
Unlike my works on paper which can handle as many as 8-10 layers of paint, the prints on fabric can really only take 1-3 layers. The monochromatic result is interesting when interspersed with a complimentary color somewhere within the printing.

II (pronounced eye-eye)

Rather than a single sheet book binding, as all past projects have been (including NN), this is a frontal layout of one game. This "binding", if you will, is a tete-beche (from the French, meaning head to tail). One side of the screen is right side up reading and if one walked to the back, the work is upside down. The precedent was set as early as the 16th century for The New Testament and Psalter, as each book was needed during services. In a 1956 novel by Patrick Dennis, The Loving Couple: His (and Her) Story, the author used the tete beche binding to give each character a separate voice in the narrative. Because the letters left at games end were "II", I chose to use the tete beche binding (loosely interpreted, to say the least) for this screen. My opening haiku for each side:

I am, she uttered
Head to tail, I stand upright
Cut and run? Or stay?

I am, replied he.
Tail to head, I'm upside down.
Rocky road traveled.

  • II (pronounced eye-eye) yellow

    Rather than a single sheet book binding, as all past projects have been (including NN), this is a frontal layout of one game. This "binding", if you will, is a tete-beche (from the French, meaning head to tail). One side of the screen is right side up reading and if one walked to the back, the work is upside down. The precedent was set as early as the 16th century for The New Testament and Psalter, as each book was needed during services.
  • II detail

    One of the more interesting aspects to collecting the Scrabble games is that I learn new and antiquated language. This is a partial wood block of the word, STOWP. A more common word in Scotland, it is the vessel containing holy water that one encounters upon entering a catholic church.
  • II, detail FINS/LOGS

    This image shows the right side up in context with the verso wrong side up. The concept of this binding is based on a 16th century binding technique called "tete beche" or head to tail. One side is right reading (head first) and the other side, in order to become right reading, has to be turned and flipped.
  • II, detail FINS

    Several layers of screen prints using Shuji Japanese paper. The topmost layer is a different rice paper with a watercolor wash and woodblock printing, outlining the specific game of Scrabble on this "book". This is a departure from my usual format of single sheet bindings.
  • II, detail yellow

    slightly closer view The wood block letters are interspersed to give the reader a general idea of the game.
  • II (pronounced eye-eye)

    Rather than a single sheet book binding, as all past projects have been (including NN), this is a frontal layout of one game. This "binding", if you will, is a tete-beche (from the French, meaning head to tail). One side of the screen is right side up reading and if one walked to the back, the work is upside down. The precedent was set as early as the 16th century for The New Testament and Psalter, as each book was needed during services.
  • II (pronounced eye-eye) blue

    Verso side of tete beche binding (from the French, meaning head to tail). One side of the screen is right side up reading and if one walked to the back, the work is upside down. The blue, or male, side of the story of II (pronounced eye-eye): I am, replied he. Tail to head, I'm upside down. Rocky road traveled.

IIITU: Three eyes of beauty. Striking gaze reveals her soul. Five arms caress you.

A book designed and developed via a springboard called The Ideation Project. Six idea cards are drawn and the ensing product was developed as a result of those cards.
Each of my works are developed from a single concept - a visual and linguistic interpretation of a game of Scrabble. I screen print the pattern from the finished game. The title of the book is the letters left at game's end. The narrative is based on the words played during the game. As Scrabble is a game of brevity, I have chosen haiku. Below are examples written for this specific game.

Led Zeppelin sings
My ears hear Zed Leppelin!
Jefferson Starship

Page, Plant, Bonham, Jones
Alcohol binge kills player
Stairway to Heaven

A song for Sara
No time is good for goodbye
Slick rasps a sad dirge

Large tub of butter
Baking a better batter
Bitter buns abound

Apples and pears, dears.
Aloe?! Anyone at home?
Cockney rhyming slang.

Passengers emplane
Pilot announces flight plan
Cacophonous squeg

Turbulence ensues
Plethora of distressed kophs
Tranquil skies ahead

Play it, Sam. Play it.
Of all the gin joints...
Bogart delivers

  • IIITU

    Open chapters. These pages are folded using a Turkish Map Fold style and hinged back to back. The chapters open much like a Slinky and the reverse of each page has wood block printing.
  • IIITU , page detail

    screen print on paper. Multiple layers.
  • IIITU, detail page

    screen print on paper, several layers.
  • IIITU, detail of open chapters

    Open chapters. These pages are folded using a Turkish Map Fold style and hinged back to back. The chapters open much like a Slinky and the reverse of each page has wood block printing.
  • IIITU open chapter 1, detail

    The entire book and box are color coded. Chapter 1 begins with red and ends with purple, leading to Chapter 2's purple start and blue finish, Chapter 3's blue start and red finish, to lead to a circular reading of the book.
  • IIITU

    open box, title page and one open chapter Book Title page with subtitle (score of game) IIITU 267-263 "530"
  • IIITU

    The presentation box falls open, as though a new Scrabble game will begin any time!
  • IIITU

    Presentation box specially designed for this book. IIITU was generated using screen print, wood block print, and typewritten haiku. Box is color coded to match the title page and three chapters housed within.
  • IIITU

    This was a fun and interesting project. A Colorado gallery put out a call - the gist of it is this: A deck of cards with prompts for creating a project. My cards were: color – single color; structure – single sheet binding; technique – low tech; layout – based on historic example; text – self generated image symbols; paper – multiple colors. Adjectives – layered, poetic, issue-based, descriptive, instructive/decorative. As my work is singularly focused on interpreting a game of Scrabble, the content was a shoe-in.

NN: A cunning double. Deep bog piques curiosity. Wars cry putrid fud.

Installation for exhibition at Ferguson Gallery at Loyola/Notre Dame University Library.

My work focuses on interpreting games of Scrabble that I have played. The structure of a finite set of conditions (a board of 225 squares on a 15x15 grid and 100 letters) and the subsequent permutations that result are compiled and visually interpreted. In this case of NN, I wanted to respond to the exhibition space in a way that would stretch the definition of a book. NN is compiled of 98 pages and each hanging strand is a chapter, if you will. The narrative (haiku, or more correctly, senryu) is strung amongst the illustrations.

Each documented game of Scrabble is interpreted into a different book type. Other projects include traditional book arts.

The opening haiku is written based on the letters left at game's end (NN) as well as including words played during the game. In this instance, FUD is an acceptable Scrabble word and means fear, uncertainty, doubt.

  • NN

    detail view of installation with artist
  • NN

    detail, installation at night
  • NN

    detail, installation at night
  • NN

    installation view at night A series of hanging origami screen prints interwoven with letterpress haiku - an interpretation of one specific game of Scrabble played. NN denotes the two letters left at end of game's play. Haiku written are based on the words played in this specific game of two players.
  • NN

    Alternate view of installation at night.
  • NN

    a detail of the installation The origami shape is threaded one atop the other via 40lb test fishing line.
  • NN

    a detail of the installation The origami shape is threaded one atop the other via 40lb test fishing line.
  • NN

    detail A series of hanging origami screen prints interwoven with letterpress haiku - an interpretation of one specific game of Scrabble played. NN denotes the two letters left at end of game's play. Haiku written are based on the words played in this specific game of two players.
  • NN

    A series of hanging origami screen prints interwoven with letterpress haiku - an interpretation of one specific game of Scrabble played. NN denotes the two letters left at end of game's play. Haiku written are based on the words played in this specific game of two players.
  • NN

    A series of hanging origami screen prints interwoven with letterpress haiku - an interpretation of one specific game of Scrabble played. NN denotes the two letters left at end of game's play. Haiku written are based on the words played in this specific game of two players.

UI: UI pronouns left. You travel to parts unknown. I wait up for you

Handmade artist book with 98 screen print pages and 30 interleaves of original Haiku, all based on one game played of Scrabble.
I began with a finite set of parameters : 225 squares, 100 letter tiles. How many variations and ways are there to visually represent one Scrabble game? Each book presented is based solely on one game.
During the process of creating the screen prints, I randomly added woodblock letters (in the original positions to the documented resource game) and then from those random letters, rearranged and contextualized the words using Haiku as the narrative form.

  • UI page 25

    More dross is too gross One hundred forty-four studs Only one needed
  • UI in box

    Scrabble book nestled in handmade box.
  • Foh. Pg 23

    Bright sun tans your hide The foh wind flexes the skin Grief pores over him
  • Pg 67

    Odea. Oh dear. Him humming hymn. Homonym. Singing a psalm song
  • Pg 23

    Nod - as if to say Her dress, her snood, shaken off Tripping on drug dose
  • Pg 40

    Words scatter about A rack of vowels and consonants Arranged precisely
  • UI pg 17 detail

    embossing detail showing letterpress haiku
  • UI binding detail

    Hand-sewn stitching for book, 49 single leaf pages.

GT: GT (Gran Turismo) My brother loved to drive fast Cool wind billowing

Handmade artist book with 98 screen print pages and 30 interleaves of original Haiku, all based on one game played of Scrabble.
I began with a finite set of parameters : 225 squares, 100 letter tiles. How many variations and ways are there to visually represent one Scrabble game? Each book presented is based solely on one game.
During the process of creating the screen prints, I randomly added woodblock letters (in the original positions to the documented resource game) and then from those random letters, rearranged and contextualized the words using Haiku as the narrative form.

This particular game was interpreted at full Scrabble-scale! Deluxe version! The paper is handmade heavy weight paper - its only distributor in the US is Daniel Smith. I spoke to Daniel Smith himself who told me that the paper is brought down from the mountains in India by sherpa. The 100% cotton rag and mottled texture of the paper made it perfect for multiple screen passes. The result is a truly beautiful painterly effect.

Once the prints and interleaves were finished, I found I had a very large book and needed a very large box. Given the Eastern influence of my work (using Haiku and the logographic reference in the prints), I chose a hinged box of Japanese influence.

  • GT32

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Fiddle with letters I cannot bear your absence An a, q, no u
  • GT56

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Seven tiles before me I grope I scratch I scramble Elusive bingo
  • GT63

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Strategy fails me I played too close to the triple Annihilated
  • GT73

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Chance gives me three Iâ??s, An e, one u, and two tâ??s Do I pass or play?
  • GT94

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Tapping and clicking Arrhythmic muffled clatter John Cage and I Ching
  • GT119

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper patterns change each time only constant middle grid filled street scapes going nowhere
  • GT140

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Grid patterns again. Why does one corner stay empty? Wordless? Without tiles.
  • GT144

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Linear structure Contemporary art theory Is there emotion?
  • GT151

    Screen print on 460 gm cotton rag paper Abutted letters Intimately connected Full of stuttering
  • GT open box

    This box contains 98 screen prints, as depicted in other details, portraying one Scrabble game. The title of GT derives from the letters left over at the end of play. The title page, GT, contains a haiku ~ a short narrative form chosen as much for its brevity as for its syllabic formula of 5-7-5, for a total of 17 syllables. Succinct and obtuse at the same time, this mimics the words played during a game of Scrabble.

Haiku Hair Cigarettes

Rolled cigarettes, with human hair, and screen print Haiku

These are a visual autobiography of my ancestry. My father was a lifelong smoker of Camel unfiltered cigarettes. My mother's family were hairdressers and own many salons as well as a beauty school. The haiku are those written for my Scrabble books.

  • Origami box

    screen print origami box from Scrabble game Installation view at Ferguson Gallery Origami box, made from original screen print based on a Scrabble game, holding hand rolled cigarettes with human hair and screen printed with Haiku
  • Hair Cigarettes

    Installation view at Ferguson Gallery Origami box, made from original screen print based on a Scrabble game, holding hand rolled cigarettes with human hair and screen printed with Haiku
  • Hair Cigarettes and ERR LEFT flip book

    Installation view at Ferguson Gallery Origami box, made from original screen print based on a Scrabble game, holding hand rolled cigarettes with human hair and screen printed with Haiku Tin is an old Camel product Small flip book under glass, ERR LEFT
  • Hair Cigarettes

    Fine Art Photograph
  • installation view

    Origami boxes with hand rolled cigarettes, filled with human hair and screen printed with haiku
  • detail

    Origami box, made from original screen print based on a Scrabble game, holding hand rolled cigarettes with human hair and screen printed with Haiku
  • Detail

    Origami box, made from original screen print based on a Scrabble game, containing hand rolled cigarettes with human hair and screen printed with Haiku

Postcards Home

A postbox is placed in public venues with instructions for people to post messages to me via snail mail. This began in 2003 during my own travels. I would make a postcard and mail it back to myself.
I have since asked viewers to mail me a message.
This has had quite limited success here in the US, however, while living in the UK the response was tremendous.
I compile the messages, scan them, and configure them into collapsible books/posters.

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About Sanzi

Baltimore City - Station North A&E District

Sanzi Kermes is the progeny of immigrant grandparents (Bohemia and Italy). Her father was a WWII vet who helped liberate the Jews from German concentration camps and was haunted by it throughout his life; her mother was a nurse. She and her twin sister are the youngest of five children.  At age seven... more

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