Myrrh Brooks - Artist Portfolio
Features some of my most recent pieces
Working artist statement:
I explore themes of home, belonging, and the understated moments that often go unnoticed beside the whirrs, clicks, and flashes of modern life. I combine printmaking, cutwork, folding, bookbinding, and installation to portray the human emotions and experiences we share but may struggle to connect. My work uses natural and biodegradable materials and carefully considers the entire life cycle of each piece. As an analog artist, I create by hand, emphasizing simplicity and repetition and our contrasting life moments. Each material is carefully chosen, worked, and combined to create pieces that aim to foster connection, interrelatedness, and community.
My first piece in this show attempts to grapple with the concepts of how we’re more alike than we are different and how there’s room for all of us, no matter where we prefer to be or find ourselves in society. Using five colors of paper, twenty mixes of ink, and the six orientations of the same woodcut, I created a mosaic of 100 different combinations of color. My second piece deals with imposter syndrome and how, at some point, we have to own our weirdnesses to be a beacon to others. Reflecting on our shared humanity with intricate details and modular construction, I play with light, darkness, and transparency, as well as what recedes and what comes forward. My final piece addresses identity and our stories aren’t linear - we’re all marvelously complex and unique even as we each live our own versions of the human experience. We’ve all heard the phrase about being an “open book,” but even an open book only shows part of the story. Being able to look back allows us to make sense of our stories and looking forward can give us inspiration and hope.
With roots in Abstract Impressionism, Sacred Geometry, and the Arts and Crafts movement, I combine craftsmanship with emotional expression to convey subtle but encompassing experiences that are familiar everywhere. Just as fish may not notice the water in which it swims, there are undercurrents that flow throughout our lives. We often look to nature for inspiration and overlook the fact that we are just as much a part of nature as the things we admire.
Works of Art:
Our stories aren't linear. Even an open book only leaves two pages visible at a time. We need to be able to look back and forth to begin to make sense of our stories. Our pasts shape our present and the decisions we make now shape our futures.
This dos à dos (back to back or a double book) book has fifteen signatures of three folios of mulberry paper per book resulting in 360 total pages with three covers hand-bound using French link, Coptic, and kettle stitch binding.
After completing the Beacon lantern (below), I took the writing that inspired it and turned it into a mini-book - a single woodcut block cut that folds to create a double map-fold book.
See below for a video of the book in action being read by the artist.
For additional information and more photos of both Beacon pieces: click here
When considering any project, I often turn to writing to clarify the message and tune my focus. This piece was inspired by a piece of writing I did that I later turned into a book (see above).
We're all weird. Some hide it more than others. At some point, some of us have to own our own weirdnesses and light the way for others.
The lantern is a woodcut printed Fibonacci spiral dodecahedron sphere inside a basket ribcage.
"Each Of Us"
A mosaic installation of 100 woodcut prints. With five different colors of paper and twenty different mixes of ink, there are 100 unique combinations of color.
This piece explores how, even though we often focus on the things that separate us, we are more alike than we are different. No matter where we may find ourselves, there's room for each of us.
Installed in the Jannotta Gallery in April 2022 as part of my Senior Studio Exhibition:
This piece was first installed in my senior studio in February 2022:
A series of 36 postcard-sized woodcut prints in a 6x6 grid–approximately 40”x28” that explores the themes of home, housework, and the perpetually unfinished “business” of living.
Exploring the interconnection of 2D and 3D conceptual pieces exploring transient and interconnected moments that bend our understanding of linear living.
The repeating print is 30"x50" and the finished piece is an approximately 20" sphere