About this project
Hello, my name is Lynn Alleva Lilley. I am a photographer and am launching this Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds to cover the costs of publishing my photo book, Tender Mint. The photographs contained in the book were made in Jordan over a three year period and are a reflection of my journey in understanding how personal loss and grief can be a motivation for connection and transformation. With your help, we can bring Tender Mint to life.
As you may know, finding a publisher to produce a beautiful and well-crafted photography book is half the challenge and I am delighted to be working with The Eriskay Connection in Breda, Netherlands to make this happen. Our goal is to publish 750 copies of the book in June 2017.
The artist, however, must also contribute a significant amount of her own money to cover the costs of publication and that is why I am asking for your help in publishing Tender Mint.
Tender Mint is a result of exploring displacement, loss, adaptation and home in the context of Jordan.
I had never lived in the Middle East before so when I moved with my family to Amman I knew I wanted to explore this unfamiliar world and ultimately to make a book. Yet there was tension both on an external level as the war in Syria had just started and a personal one as my father was ill back home in the US.
Ultimately, over one million refugees from Syria fled to Jordan joining those who entered during the Iraq war. This violence and tension in the North put tremendous pressure on the country, yet it remained stable.
For three years I photographed confined places, landscapes, animals and people including Syrian and Iraqi refugees and Jordanians. I was struck by the paradox of beautiful places located in military zones such as a bird observatory located near the border with Israel, the village of Hemma in the north from which you can see Israel and Syria, and Bethany Beyond the Jordan.
The loss of my father in the US brought an urgency to the work. I wondered how those living through war and catastrophic loss were coping, maybe hoping to connect and come to some form of understanding and acceptance of grief. The more I saw and photographed, the more worlds within worlds opened up which, strangely, led to an epiphany in a zoo. I was able to go deeper and look beyond the obvious entrapment of the animals and into strange, beautiful worlds of animals and their environment. Many of the images have an otherwordly, fairytale-like quality to them.
It is interesting now to look at the images and see unexpected relationships among them that, together, make a book.
If you love art, especially photo books, and are curious about Jordan and the Middle East, please consider making a donation to this campaign and sharing this link.
Please note that this project is "European Friendly" meaning that backers in Europe do not pay any extra fees or duties other than the cost of shipping listed in the pledge level/rewards section for their country. We are able to offer this because orders for backers in Europe will be fulfilled in Europe.
We are ready to make this happen, all we need now is the funding and your support!
THE PUBLISHER AND DESIGNER: THE ERISKAY CONNECTION
It is a pleasure to be working with a truly gifted designer, Rob van Hoesel and Carel Fransen at The Eriskay Connection (TEC) in the Netherlands. I initially sent Rob a book dummy that I had created. He then asked for more images that I had considered, but ultimately decided to take out. A back-and-forth process emerged with Rob taking the lead in putting together beautiful and unexpected sequences that are really transforming the book as a whole. This is not an easy task given that we are not working with a traditional narrative or staying within a pre-defined framework. It seems more like a puzzle where short, thematic sequences fall naturally together to form a whole. The design is almost complete and we plan on publishing Tender Mint in June 2017. Below on the left are two blank book dummies that the printer/binder, Optimal Media, has made to give a real sense of the cloth cover, inside paper and size. The paper dummy on the right printed and bound by the designer helps to make final decisions about layout and design. Please visit this website for more information about the publisher, The Eriskay Connection: http://www.eriskayconnection.com/
POETS AND POEMS
I am delighted to include two poems in the book: "Sheep" by American poet, Jane Hirshfield; and "I Don't Blame You" by Palestinian poet, Samih al-Qasim. Samih passed away a few years ago and I am grateful for his poem and its translation into English by Dr. Nazih Kassis. There’s a bit of a story behind the title of the book, Tender Mint. The first English translation that I found of Samih’s poem had translated an Arabic word in the last line as “tender mint.” When I read that line, I immediately knew that Tender Mint would be the title of my book. But then I found Nazih's more nuanced translation of the same poem in a different book, Sadder Than Water. He, however, translated the Arabic word as "the mint." So, I decided to keep the title Tender Mint, but include Nazih's translation of the poem.
I love the essays and poetry of Jane Hirshfield. Her book, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transforms the World, is a particular inspiration for me. While discussing poetry and selected poems in beautiful prose, the book is also about art in a broad sense. So, when substituting "photography" for "poetry" and "photograph" for "poem" it made sense and a window was, indeed, opened for me.
LITHOGRAPHY: COLOUR & BOOKS
I was fortunate enough to meet lithographer Sebastiaan Hanekroot of Colour&Books a couple of years ago and have admired his work in photo books such as Two Rivers by Carolyn Drake, Ametsuchi by Rinko Kawauchi, and My Last Days at Seventeen by Doug Dubois. I am so pleased that he will be working on preparing the images and overseeing the printing. I very much look forward to the collaboration.
- Otastar paperback with cloth 160 pages, 110 color images
- Inside cover: Cyclus Offset 300 gr.
- Outside cover: Feincanvas 0108/403 Ziegelrot
- Paper inside: Bio Top 3 paper, 120 gr.
- 750 copies to be printed by Optimal Media (Germany)
- Design by Rob Van Hoesel (The Eriskay Connection)
- Lithography by Sebastiaan Hanekroot (Colour&Books)
- Poetry by Samih al-Qasim and Jane Hirshfield
- Photographs and two personal anecdotes by Lynn Alleva Lilley
TOTAL COSTS AND PRODUCTION
- US$17,000 Printing, binding and lithography for 750 copies
- US$500 Kickstarter fee (estimate)
- US$300 Payments processing (estimate)
- US$2,200 Packaging and Shipments to Backers (estimate)
Note that the financial goal of this campaign is US$10,000. I intend to cover the rest of the costs through personal savings and additional donations. However, it would be a huge help if we go beyond this goal so that more of these costs can be covered by the campaign.
PRINT SELECTIONS FOR VARIOUS PLEDGE LEVELS/REWARDS:
$95 Pledge Level: Your choice of one of three of the images below
$200 Pledge Level: Your choice of one of three of the images below
$350 Pledge Level: Your choice of one of three of the images below
I'm now living in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (the second time we've lived here) with my husband and twin, teenage boys. We enjoy hiking in the wild beauty here, going to local sports tournaments, and getting to know Bishkek again. While working on Tender Mint, I am also photographing in Kyrgyzstan and keeping two other photographic projects going in the US: light, dark, water and the life of the horseshoe crab in the Delaware Bay and; Sligo Creek Park near our home in Maryland.
The influences of painting, science and nature in many ways can be attributed to my mother, a painter, and my father, a biologist. I remember as a child going on hikes in the woods identifying plants and trees with my father and watching my mother paint in the studio or at the beach. These early experiences exposed me to the possibility of seeing the world in different ways as well as to the deep connections and divergences of science and art. Later, I was fortunate to meet and study with photographer Terri Weifenbach in Maryland whose work I continue to admire and who, as the best mentors do, encouraged me to keep developing my own way of seeing.
Tender Mint is my first photo book to be published.
For more information, please visit my artist website: www.lynnallevalilley.net
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges when publishing an artist book include the possibility of delay, but The Eriskay Connection is highly experienced in dealing with the production and printing challenges involved in making great photobooks. If this campaign is successful, we are confident this project will move forward on schedule.
Please note that the photographer has made arrangements for a project collaborator in Atlanta, Georgia to help fulfill rewards in the US and The Eriskay Connection to fulfill orders in Europe and the rest of the world. Note that backers in Europe will not pay extra customs related fees since the rewards will be fulfilled in Europe.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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