The Drawers - Margie Kelk   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Situation, Positioning, Location

Turning subtle Chinese brush work away from lovely depictions of flora and fauna to brave the unflinching realization of environmental pollution, Kelk takes a position and the situation is made clear - the world, lovely as it is, is ailing from it's exposure to urbanization.

Three accordion books titled Systems: Digestive, Circulatory, Auditory, address the permutations of her relationship to China. Rich Fog Micro Publishing, Headbones, The Drawers' in-house printing and publishing company, worked in collaboration with Kelk in order to reformat the original books into a series that will eventually be a four part project with the involuntary systems of the body used as a metaphor to examine the health of the body of the planet. Headbones, The Drawers is presenting the first three - Auditory, Circulatory and Digestive.

A 'tidy-up' resulted when the books were regularized in size and framed by their embossed covers bearing the Chinese symbol of Margie Kelk's name. The inconsistent surfaces of collaged pages became consistent within the mechanical printing process. They 'stabilized' (to continue with the language of health) as they were now strong enough to receive a second treatment. This was an actual physical necessity for the first books, visual journals made in situ and hence beginning to fray from handling, were in dire need of revitalization if they were to survive. Hence, Kelk made a decision - to print in a limited edition and transcend the mortal nature of the materials by reproducing them and giving them a second or third chance to live.

Each printed book has been doctored. The reproduced visuals have been repainted by Kelk so that each book is, in turn, a new original. The ailment (the encroaching toxicity) was reexamined and an application made to revitalize the 'system'. In this second visit to the material, made from an objectified position, she has formulated a diagnosis. With extreme concern for the balance of the whole and the impact that her superimposition will have on her initial visual analysis, she has drawn and painted a new layer over the former impressions. Realizing that each new life must be utterly individual she has created, not twins, but siblings for the first fragile off-springs.

Copyright 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers