Limited edition letterpress
Gaspereau Press is pleased to announce the release of a limited edition letterpress book entitled The Light That Lives in Darkness. This collaborative work features text by Nova Scotia author Mark Harris and prints by New Brunswick artist Dan Steeves. Harris and Steeves have brought together words and images that explore the landscape of the Bay of Fundy and the resilience of faith.
In the first stage of this project Steeves made 12 intaglio prints. These depict roadways, houses and coastlines along the Bay of Fundy, and show Steeves’ characteristic style with heavy, patterned skies and broad strokes of light alongside sharp detail. Harris chose nine of these prints and wrote accompanying prose. Harris’ work draws on the strong presence of darkness and light in Steeves’ art and translates it into reflections on faith, hope, isolation and human allegiance with coastal landscapes.
We started the project a number of years ago. Where distance doesn’t enable us to be together a lot, we started to correspond and we discovered a fair amount of resemblance in how we looked at things, saw things. I approached Dan about the possibility of doing something that would involve his work and my writing. For me it was a daunting challenge to write about images as potent and multi-layered as visual art is. I wanted to articulate some of the interior spiritual landscapes in Dan’s work. These are scenes around the Bay of Fundy, but there’s a whole interior world that sees that landscape in a particular way. My challenge was to articulate that world.
As a visual artist I have collaborated with author Mark Harris, excavating titles for my intaglio prints from letters he would send to me. Through this experience he suggested we do a book together. It was Andrew Steeves who suggested we start with a clean slate, creating new images and writing new thoughts based on these prints. The Light That Lives in Darkness developed through the friendship, respect and understanding between artist, writer and publisher. Ultimately it is a visual and verbal dialogue about place and hope, and the difference that both can make in this life.
The text is designed in Ludlow Eusebius, cast and printed letterpress on mould-made Johannot paper by Andrew Steeves. Each book includes nine intaglio prints made from zinc plates etched by Dan Steeves. The books are slipcased and casebound by Ruth Legge (paper-over-boards with a calf leather spine). The books measure approximately 11 × 6 ½ inches in size and are 66 pages in length. One copy will be available for viewing at Gaspereau Press in Kentville, Nova Scotia.
Why do we return to the shore? Maybe it’s because in a world like ours where so much changes — political and economic realities, our jobs, and our families, even our bodies — the shore will still be there.