Across cultures and centuries, the forest has occupied a unique place in our collective imagination. Good and evil, chaos and peace, beauty and terror: these fundamental oppositions of the forest’s liminal landscape are a metaphor for the human experience. It is no surprise, then, that myth and history are rich with stories of man venturing beyond the structured limits of civilization and into chaotic labyrinth of the woods. Following this tradition, I too went into the woods in search of adventure, transcendence, the unknown, and came back with a body of photographic work called Sylvania.
THE PROJECT: Sylvania is a composite “forest-land” of photographs comprising scenes from various and sundry American woodlands. Through images of both real and depicted nature, Sylvania examines the differing characteristics of these woods while also seeking the Forest Universal rooted in them all, exploring the physical presence of the forest in the contemporary world as well as its metaphoric presence in our collective imagination.
I began this work in 2012 while pursuing my MFA at the School of Visual Arts, where it became my thesis. The project grew from a concentrated study of the ethereal woods of the Pacific Northwest into a broader survey of forests across the country – from Washington and Oregon to Vermont to Louisiana, and many places in between. Sylvania has already been exhibited several times and received a handful of awards, including the Humble Art Foundation’s 2012 WIP/LTI Lightside Materials Grant. I now have the incredible opportunity to make Sylvania more accessible by working with Daylight to publish it in book form!
Your generous contribution to this campaign will directly involve you in the production of Sylvania, enriching your enjoyment, making you part of the Sylvania community, and rewarding you with additional fine art prints at discounted prices. Live with art – it’s good for you!
THE BOOK: With your help, a hardcover edition of Sylvania will be published by the well-regarded Daylight Books in Fall 2015. It has a target print run of 1,250 copies, and is projected to include approximately 60 color photographs over 100+ pages on 157gsm matt art paper.
Collecting images in a book creates a very different experience than seeing them digitally or in print. In the case of Sylvania, turning the pages becomes like walking through an unknown forest—you never know with certainty what lies behind the next tree, and just when you think you are at the heart of darkness there might be a trail marker or a clearing, a bit of blue sky beyond the canopy, or a peek into the civilization beyond the arboreal fringe. Every so often you encounter other people or animals, but often you are alone.
My personal journey is inherent in the work, and I do hope that the book is transportive—conveying you to places you have never seen, places unknown to me before photographing them. At the same time, I hope that you can step through the door of these photographs into a world populated by your own memories and associations. The experience of Sylvania is both personal and universal, grounded in metaphor as well as reality, an appeal to the imagination but also a plea for the reverence of the forest in our increasingly urbanized world.
WHY KICKSTARTER? The publishing of limited-run fine art books is a high-risk, daunting challenge, and we applaud those publishers like Daylight willing to bring these works to market. A new model has emerged to share this risk, and publishers and artists have embraced crowd-funding to give life to these collectible books. With Kickstarter, no money changes hands until a pre-set funding goal is reached, thereby eliminating investor/purchaser risk. When the goal is met, and production costs are covered, you receive the book you helped bring into existence and additional artist’s incentives as a reward for your support. This means that a project succeeds only when a critical mass of people believe in it – as it should be!
My deepest gratitude for your interest in this project. I hope that you will support the campaign by becoming a backer and choosing one of the rewards as well as sharing it with others... let's make this book!
To learn even more about Sylvania, please follow the BLOG. Throughout the campaign I will be posting something--writing, quotes, video, stories from the road, etc--to further illuminate the project!!
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Daylight Books is a non-profit organization dedicated to publishing art and photography books. By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine art, Daylight’s uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world-at-large.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Anna Beeke is a documentary and fine art photographer based in Brooklyn. She has degrees in both photojournalism and fine art photography, and believes her work inhabits the intersection of those two practices. Before going to photography school, she received her BA in English from Oberlin College, and literature still haunts her imagination and inspires many of her photographs. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, and her work has been exhibited across five continents since 2009. Anna is represented by Uprise Art.
ABOUT THE REWARDS:
All backers at the $200 level and above will ALSO receive a special mention on the acknowledgements page of the book.
- All prints will come with an additional white border for easy framing: the 4x5 suite will be printed on 5x7 paper and so forth.
- The LIMITED EDITION BOOK is a Kickstarter exclusive, and will be editioned according to how many people select it: for example, if you are the second of 7 people to order it, you will receive 2/7.
November 2015 is the projected date of delivery for the book based on Daylight’s production schedule. If this changes, I will be in contact.
- I will do my very best to refund shipping to those whose deliveries I can make in person:)
This flip book of some of the pages of my handmade artist dummy is meant to give you an idea of what the final book MIGHT look something like. I'll be working with Daylight's design team to make it as amazing as possible, and this is just the beginning!
Risks and challenges
The key ingredients to create a beautiful, timeless book are already in place: an award-winning photo project and a publisher who has been delivering stunning and important books for the past ten years.
As this is an all or nothing platform there is no risk for you a backer, and the only major challenge that remains for us is raising enough money to complete the expensive process of sending the book to press. With your financial help, we will meet the campaign goal and the book will be published and delivered by November 2015.
Heartfelt thanks for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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