Lecture at Corcoran College of Art: Monday September 16

September 6th, 2013

Please join me for Time and Place: Images by Bea Nettles at the Corcoran College of Art in classroom 14B. The lecture will be from 12:30-1:30. The focus of the lecture will be my use of photography’s unique abilities to reveal the passage of time and a sense of place by sharing several book projects that deal with these themes including Turning 50, Seasonal Turns, Stonecipher, Return Trips, and Place. A limited amount of these books will be on hand at the book signing following the talk.

Directions to the School:http://www.corcoran.org/visit/directions

Lecture at University of the Arts in Philadelphia: September 19th

August 31st, 2013

Memory Theatres: The Photographic Books of Bea Nettles

Lecture by Bea Nettles, who will trace her ongoing involvement with photographic books beginning with her unique and early offset techniques of the 70s and her independently published offset work in the following decades, followed by early “desktop” publishing. Production and distribution will be outlined as she shares the autobiographical content of these books. She is known for her work with women’s lives, memory and her strong attachment to particular landscapes utilizing mixed media and experimental photographic processes that are still used in her hand-made artists’ books. Always curious, she also incorporates the use of her cell phone camera and print on demand resources

Two images in 500 Handmade Books Vol II

August 29th, 2013

The long awaited second volume of 500 Handmade Books, edited by Julie Chen, is now available. I am pleased to find two of my books pictured among those of many of my friends and colleagues. You can find out more about the Lark Press book here: http://www.amazon.com/500-Handmade-Books-Volume-Series/dp/1454707534
My one of a kind collage accordion book Basso Loco is in the Dante Collection at Notre Dame. There are two copies left out of the edition of six copies of 80 Little Lambs. http://www.beanettles.com/folio/Artists_Books__2012/80_LIttle_Lambs.html
This parchment bound booklet pictures eighty Victorian lamb grave markers. They progress from well defined, to illegible…an observation about the effects of memory and time

Forbidden Fruit to be shown at University of Washington

August 22nd, 2013

The exhibition, whose preliminary title is “Under the Wings of Artemis: Scholars, Artists and the Places Between,” explores modern book arts and the relationship of the subjects discussed in the academic works of the University of Washington Classics faculty
My book, “Forbidden Fruit,” was selected from hundreds of books to be highlighted in the companion book at the exhibition.There are approximately sixty-five artists represented in this exhibit book. The book will be print on demand, large landscape format, will consist of approximately forty-five pages. I will post details on the blog when the book is available.

This unique pop-up book was made during a Paper and Book Intensive in Andrea Dezso’s workshop. I had limited access to materials, so I chose to work with collage and cut out the small bits of text from pages of an old book. I had some scans from Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and the woman I used as Persephone came from that painting. I have always been interested in comparative mythology and especially enjoy the explanation of the seasons given by Persephone’s story. The passage of time, and particularly the four seasons has been a theme in my work before (Seasonal Turns, Stonecipher). I am also drawn to the story of Eve and she has appeared in my work several times (in my book Complexities, for example)
The style of the book lent itself to a very short narrative. I happened to have digital prints that included an apple and a pomegranate. Upon designing the book, It struck me that both women, Eve and Persephone, got into major trouble because of their appetite for fruit..thus the title Forbidden Fruit and the text in the book ” Song of Sin” alluding to Eve, and “Bitter Sweet Regeneration” for Persephone.

Yale Art Library acquires a copy of PLACE

July 25th, 2013

A copy of my limited edition version of PLACE has just been purchased by Yale’s Haas Art Library. You can see more images and find the complete text here on my webpage: http://www.beanettles.com/folio/Recent_Books/PLACE__limited_edition.html

The book is now in the libraries of Illinois Wesleyan, University of Washington in Seattle, and the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Two more copies left in the edition!

My workshop at Pyramid Atlantic in September

July 25th, 2013

For those of you in the DC area, I will be teaching a special workshop at Pyramid Atlantic in September.


Triple Accordion Collage Date: Sunday, September 15, 10-4
Tuition: $130 plus $15 materials fee payable to instructor

Description: This intermediate structure is versatile and is especially suited for landscape imagery. It lends itself well to the use of collages. Three accordions of varying widths are sewn together and will be housed in clothbound covers. Participants should come prepared with a variety of papers to fold and items to attach.

Two photos in FIERCE, at Portland Museum of Art

July 5th, 2013

Two of my works from the Portland Museum of Art’s permanent collection will be on display through August 25th in an exhibition called FIERCE: Animal Life from the Collection. It looks like a fun summertime show, so if you are in the area, I hope you can stop in and visit it.

The image pictured here is Eleanore from Rachel’s Holidays, a dye transfer portfolio from 1984:

The Photographic Object 1970

June 22nd, 2013

One of my works originally shown in 1970 at MOMA, NYC in Photography into Sculpture will be shown in Dijon, France July through September. The show is called The Photographic Object 1970 and the work is Pleasant Pasture, an image printed on toned photo linen and machine stitched to a museum board.


Accordion Workshop at Centennial High School

March 13th, 2013

Here is a link to a visual record of a pocket accordion workshop that I taught for Stacey Gross’s photo students and book arts club yesterday at Centennial High School in Champaign, Illinos.http://thecentinal.com/2013/03/12/bea-nettles-workshop/

New book “PLACE” is now available for order.

February 26th, 2013

My latest book project, called PLACE, has been finished. It is a set of four booklets that address American history in the North, South, East and West written using last names found on gravestones, history written by the names of some of this country’s residents. You can order a copy by going to my store and using Paypal.

Here is the colophon from the book: Place is a manifestation of my continued fascination with descriptive family names that are nouns, verbs and adjectives, my own nettles included. How did such names become attached to people and what might be their effect? Do people notice? Many names are explained by occupation (rider, roper, master) physical characteristics (brunette, dimple, blush), dwelling place (appleyard, grimwood, halfhill.) Other categories I found were food (corn, fruit, olive), birds, alcohol, animals, money…or its lack, weather, water, plants (nettles, cotton) and trees.

What began with a few photographs of gravestones in the fall of 2010 has grown to a collection of over 2,500, primarily taken with my cellphone and managed and searched digitally. My first project was Stonecipher: A Book of Seasons in which I used these stones to write poetry about the passage of a year. In this first case, I had limited my search to my home county.

On my travels, I continued to seek out cemeteries, walking countless miles up and down the rows. I decided to create another book, this time featuring the four cardinal directions: north, south, east and west. It became apparent to me that I could write an interpretive history of the United States using the names of some of the families who immigrated here. Each story begins with the settlement of the region and ends with contemporary families headed home.

I set up several parameters for this project, correct grammar in the construction of the narrative being one of them. I used only last names (yes, Victor and Jack are surnames too) and and did not crop or add letters to them. The one instance where I broke a rule was to include the word sisters, which was not a last name that I found although I know it exists. This was due to the difficulty I was having including the history of women. The occupations that I could find were primarily male ones (with the exceptions of cook, baker, housekeeper, nurse, and milliner) Also our naming conventions are primarily male with the use of “son”(jackson, johnson) and “man” (fishman, fineman, waterman, westman.) To keep the project a manageable size, the stones had to be made quite small so the photographs were retouched digitally for clarity and to remove first names and dates. You will have to trust me about this. Indeed, among the common names that we no longer think about at all, these wonderful and curious names exist.

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