Radha Pandey (Tistedal, Norway)
Letterpress printing on hand-dyed papers
6” x 4.25” x 1”
Deep Time has been letterpress printed on kozo dyed with cloves and indigo. The imagery engraved in wood has been adapted from contour maps of the Himalayan range, and the cut shapes are the boundaries of the highest physical features of our planet, namely the Tibetan plateau (China, Tibet and India); the Kanza’gyal mountain range (east Asia); and the Andes mountain range (western South America). The shapes cut into each sheet move slightly on each page so that when the book is collapsed, one can see through the cavernous space created by these forms, resembling a physical elevation or contour map. Depending on which way the book is read, these cut shapes appear to sediment on one side, and erode on the other, with the reader physically participating in these natural processes as they progress through the book. The loose pages sit in a box with deep recesses to accommodate this movement.
The work I create focuses on my perception of the natural world and its fragility in relation to human existence. Much of what I make – one-of-a-kind books, letterpress printed artist books, cast paper sculptures, cut paper works and animation – brings to mind the intentional growth, pattern, and arrangement one might find in nature. Book history, its production and the art of the book have played a pivotal role in my professional life. My bookwork largely draws from natural history and ecology, and looks at both human engagement with the environment and current ecological concerns. The process behind each project forms a large part of my work, and is evident in the finished pieces. Just as nature takes its time to evolve, slowly and thoughtfully, I make, at a slow and deliberate pace, work that evokes that very meaning.
Radha Pandey is a papermaker and letterpress printer. She earned her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book where she was a recipient of the Iowa Arts Fellowship. She has learned European, Eastern and Indo-Islamic Papermaking techniques with Timothy Barrett and teaches book arts classes in India, Europe and the United States. Her graduate thesis work- a hand-printed book of botanical anatomies titled Anatomia Botanica won the MICA Book Award at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair in 2014, and received an Honorable Mention at the 15th Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. Her book Deep Time won the Joshua Heller Memorial Award at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair in 2018. Her artists books are held in over 40 public and private collections internationally, including the Library of Congress and Yale University. Currently, Radha is working on an artist book inspired by Mughal floral portraiture from the 17th century, and how it was impacted by colonisation of plants. All the paper for the edition will be hand made in the traditional Indo-Islamic style. www.radhapandey.com