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Family Issues Bookworks No Longer Available for Sale

To jump to the description of a bookwork, please click on its title. Click on a linked title or on a thumbnail image to view a larger image of the work. In some cases, additional images are available — this is indicated under the descriptive text. Click on the right side of the presented image to view the next image, and the left side to return to the previous one. If the CLOSE button doesn't work, just click outside the lightbox.

The Baptism
The three dresses (one original, two reproduced) my sisters and I wore for our (group) baptism hang behind a stuffed fabric Black Forest cherry cake on a small table. On a dainty tablecloth is embroidered the story of why all three of us were baptised together, in a private afternoon service. The cake is central to the story.
1998, North Bay. 3 pages. (Tabletop: 18 x 18 x 27″) Unique. Collection University of Calgary.
The Boy Who Liked to Eat
Tall tales and (possibly) true stories told to the artist as a child are combined to create a fairy tale version of her father's immigration to Canada, presented as a quest for food. The accordion book has handmade paper pages and hard covers. The pages get more colourful and dimensional as the story progresses. The text is rubber-stamped and the images colour-copied. There are five very simple pop-ups.
2002, North Bay. 8 spreads. (10 x 7 1/2″) Edition of 10. $500
Burnt Toast
Text from my mother's journals about meals eaten, food burnt, food she craved and what she did actually buy at the supermarket are combined with pop-ups of food, some of it burnt.
1999, North Bay. 7 pages and 7 pops. (9 1/2 x 7 1/4″) Unique. Collection University of Calgary.

This is a funny story about how we lose control of our bodies, told to Marilyn Zimmerman by her grandmother. The book is quilted (the pages pieced in the Cakestand pattern) and opens into a large square, to be read around a table. Also included are a quilted teapot and teacups. The text is handwritten.
2004, North Bay. 12 pages. (13 x 13 x 4″) Unique. Collection University of Calgary.

Dinner for Three
Safely nested between her parents on the couch, eating TV dinners, Marilyn Zimmerman contrasts her suburban life with the violent events on the television in 1968. An aluminum TV dinner tray hold cast paper food and a handmade paper pamphlet, all enclosed in a box. Colour and black-and-white photo-copies images are used on the box and in the pamphlet.
1998, North Bay. 17 pages. (7 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 1/2″)Edition of 3. $500
Family Baggage
All of us carry with us emotional baggage from our families of origin. My father’s steamer trunk is full of objects with associated words rubber-stamped, embroidered and “written” with pins or buttons. The steamer trunk has a wardrobe on one side and four drawers on the other. Each drawer holds several trays; each tray holds a garment or personal items with words such as anger, responsibilities and pain.
2003, North Bay. 21 “pages.” (41 x 22 x 20″) Unique. Collection University of Calgary.

The Family That Liked to Eat
A funny story about the artist’s family’s love of food, this elaborate pop-up book centres on the rooms in which they ate in their home: kitchen, dining room, sunporch and the green room. (The father's bedroom could have been included too, because he got pancakes in bed occasionally.) Constructed of Ecohemp 89-lb. Cover, with colour-copied and watercolour images, each room has a floor with chairs and a table.
1998, North Bay. 4 rooms. (11 1/2 x 9″) Edition of 3.

From Noranda to Detroit: The First Twenty-five Years
This book was rubber-stamped on my twenty-fifth birthday, while I was living in a blue apartment with silver ceilings, in downtown Detroit, and going to graduate school at Wayne State University. It is a cheeky look at my life up to that point. I wrote the story around the family photos which I had in my possession. I just sat down and started rubber-stamping. I ended up with two themes: "Look at those legs!" and "Is this art?" Traditionally sewn handmade paper pages with hard covers.
1980, Detroit. Many pages. (7 x 5 x 1″) Unique, but with one photo-copied copy on Japanese paper. Collection: University of Calgary.

From Noranda to Detroit: Weesy’s Version
Unbeknownst to me, when I was rubber-stamping my biography, my youngest sister had decided to surprise me with her version of the story of my life, written as a radio play. It arrived in the mail the next day. I was so taken with the synchronicity, I decided to make a second book: for this I had to elicit the help of our mother, asking her to dig through boxes of family photos for specific photos, to illustrate Weesy's stories. Weesy, or Marie, as she is known to the rest of the world had a radically different perspective: that of the adorable little sister. Traditionally sewn handmade paper pages, with family photo illustrations tipped in, with hard covers.
1982, Detroit. Many pages. (7 x 5 x 1″) Unique, but with one photo-copied copy on Japanese paper. Collection: University of Calgary.
girls I have Known
This fairy-tale-like version of my father's long quest for a wife was based on photos which he had saved in a little brown envelope, and labelled “girls I have Known.” The text pages of this flag book are hemp/cotton paper, shaped like men’s suits; the images are handmade paper women’s outfits dating from the 1920s to the 1950s, and use some of the women’s photos.
2002, North Bay. 19 pages. (11 x 6 x 2″) Edition of 10.
The Girl Who Liked to Read
This double-sided flag book has colour images of covers of favourite books from childhood interspersed with ink drawings of me reading (even when nursing an active toddler!) The text consists of two lists: books read during a two-month period at age 17, and those read during an equivalent period at age 50, while I was artist-in-residence at Queen's University, doing research for my environment/health series. Handmade paper with text embedded made by CAVE Papers, in Minneapolis—so perfect for this commission.
2007, North Bay. Multi-paged. (Box: 8.25 x 9 x 2″Opens to 51″) Unique. Commissioned by University of Alberta.

Good Little Girls
Five pink outfits worn by me and/or my sisters as babies and toddlers (sleeper, dress, silk! coat and tights, two dirndls) are rubber-stamped with my own story about what good little girls we were.
1993, North Bay. 5 pages. (Life-sized) Unique. Collection: University of Calgary.
Little Gloria Happy at Last
Photocopied on handmade paper (Barcham Green) this rubber-stamped story is illustrated with the Joseph family's photos. Gloria struggles to fit into the good little Catholic School girl mould and finally breaks out. Accordion with hard covers.
1984, Detroit. Many pages. (8.75 x 7.5 x .5″) Unique. Collection: University of Calgary.

Marilyn's Grandma
This quilted accordion is rubber-stamped with Marilyn Zimmerman's funny story about inter-generational bonding. Appliquéd with baby doll pyjamas, hair-nets and curlers, and pillowcases.
1993, North Bay. ? pages. (12.25 x 10.25 x 5″) Unique. Collection: Robert McLaughlin Gallery.

Once Upon a House
An autobiographical story, perhaps slightly exaggerated, about the house in which the artist grew up. It’s an elaborate pop-up book with the stairwell and the hot water pipe in the basement on which she and her sisters used to swing, constructed of Ecohemp 89-lb. Cover, with colour-copied and acrylic painted images. It has a hard cover.

The Bruce Peel Library at the University of Alberta has created a video showing all the pages of this book. 1998, North Bay. 5 spreads. (11 1/2 x 9″) Edition of 3. Collections: University of Alberta, University of Calgary.

Pharmacy Paul
Here's a story about a good little boy, for a change. Paul Woodward's funny tale ("He was such a good baby he was boring, " said his mother) is rubber-stamped and illustrated with family photos. Colour-copied on handmade paper.
1983, Detroit. ? pages. (7 x 5 x 1″) Edition of 3. Collection: University of Calgary.
Picky Eater
Lori Gilbert’s unpleasant memories of being forced to eat are combined with photos of a plate of food being mushed about and slowly consumed. Tablecloths have been cut, rubber-stamped, appliquéd with colour-copy transfers and re-assembled to form a fold out book.
2002, North Bay. 9 pages. (13 1/2 x 13 1/2″) Edition of 3: each different.

Instead of Breads, Desserts, and Soups, these “recipes” are filed by categories such as Atmosphere, The Cook, Force-Feeding, Importance, Obsessions and Prohibitions. The metal recipe box holds family photos and stories from twelve women about food/family relationships, on hemp paper cards.
2001, North Bay. 129 cards. (3 x 5 x 3″) Edition of 5: each a different box. Collection: University of Calgary, Scripps College, Denison Library, Duke University, University of Washington.

A Sad Little Girl
A cast-paper doll and her dresses, in a wardrobe trunk, tell a woman's poignant story about growing up believing that she was bad. The text is rubber-stamped on little handmade paper dresses, embellished with lace, ribbons and beads, and hanging on pink wire hangers. The trunk is covered with floral chintz.
1995, North Bay. 5 pages. (9 x 5.75 x 4.75″) Edition of 12. Collections: Library and Archives Canada, University of California at Irvine, University of Calgary Special Collections Library.
Soft Molasses Cookies
This star carousel book has photo-copies of my mother's recipe book on the covers. The rooms inside represent rooms in the house in which I grew up: the "wallpaper" is photocopies of my mother's paintings and drawings. The text is culled from her journals: the entries all concern food. My mother left 43 volumes of diaries when she died. Much was written in her own personal shorthand, a variation of the Gregg shorthand she had learned in business college, but she wrote the many food descriptions in English.
1999, North Bay. 5 pages. (10.25 x 7.25 x .75″) Unique. Collection: University of Calgary.

Those Damn Flies
Eight of my father's singlets with photo-transferred images of him enjoying his garden, along with those of mosquitoes and blackflies. The text is rubber-stamped with a funny story about his years of working in the bush. Hand-written scientific text about "those damn flies" runs along the hems. Pages stiffened with acrylic medium hang on a clothesline, or can be ring-bound.
2002, North Bay. 8 pages. (3' x2' x 1.5') Unique. Collection: University of Calgary.

Was I a Lobster in Another Life?
This accordion pop-up book incorporates more entries about food from my mother's journals with pop-ups of food.
2002, North Bay. 8 spreads. (10 x 7 1/2″) Edition of 10. $500

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