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Marlene MacCallum

WorkBook Works where steps stop

01aWhereStepsStopCovers

view of slipcase and covers, hand bound drum leaf binding, edition of 8, $850 USD, 2023

01bWhereStepsStopInSlipcase

view of four volumes in the slipcase

02whenwatercoloursCover

when water colours, view of cover, 17.1 × 25.6 × 7 cm (closed). Images, words, design, printing and binding by Marlene MacCallum

03whenwatercolours

when water colours, first image spread, 25.6 × 34.1 cm, archival digital pigment prints on Aya paper

04whenwatercolours

when water colours, second image spread

05whenwatercolours

when water colours, third image spread

06whenwatercolours

when water colours, fourth and final image spread

07BelowFragrantSkiesCover

below fragrant skies, second volume of the quadriptych where steps stop

08BelowFragrantSkies01

below fragrant skies, first spread, letterpress over digital pigment print

09BelowFragrantSkies

below fragrant skies, second spread, letterpress over digital pigment print

10BelowFragrantSkies

below fragrant skies, third spread, letterpress over digital pigment print

11BelowFragrantSkies

below fragrant skies, fourth spread, letterpress over digital pigment print

12BelowFragrantSkies

below fragrant skies, fifth and final spread, letterpress over digital pigment print

13SurfacesMurmurCover

surfaces murmur, third volume of the quadriptych where steps stop

14SurfacesMurmur

surfaces murmur, first spread, polymer gravure printed on top of archival digital pigment print

15SurfacesMurmur

surfaces murmur, , second spread, polymer gravure printed on top of archival digital pigment print

16SurfacesMurmur

surfaces murmur, third spread, polymer gravure printed on top of archival digital pigment print

17SurfacesMurmur

surfaces murmur, fourth spread, polymer gravure printed on top of archival digital pigment print

18SurfacesMurmur

surfaces murmur, fifth and final spread, polymer gravure printed on top of archival digital pigment print

19StepsStopCover

steps stop, fourth volume of the quadriptych where steps stop

20StepsStop

steps stop, first spread, archival digital pigment print

21StepsStop

steps stop, second spread, archival digital pigment print

22StepsStop

steps stop, third spread, archival digital pigment print

23StepsStop

steps stop, fourth spread, archival digital pigment print

24StepsStop

steps stop, fifth spread, archival digital pigment print

25StepsStop

steps stop, sixth and final spread, archival digital pigment print

where steps stop is a four-part work about the flux of water, sky, ground, and their visual convergence. This piece is also about the nature of printing; how the record of an ephemeral situation is transformed to become a fixed printed object. In addition to the construction of images via the physical strata of print processes, I layer the written word.

The first volume, when water colours, is a visual experience. It unfolds into the radically distinct colour realities of the lake’s edge as summer shifts to fall.

The second volume, below fragrant skies, evokes scent memories conjured by the wind, air pressure and weather environments. Words are used to identify cloud formations and reveal the invisible, subtle smells in the space. The large typeface of text is letterpress printed in barely perceptible ink. Words are pressed into the paper surface and hover amidst images of sky and cloud.

In surfaces murmur, the sonic experience is layered over the visual record. Layers of printing echo the layering of perception, as we see the represented space through a subtle veil of thought. Layering a CMY digital print with a polymerplate photogravure intaglio printing results in a work where the pigment ink sinks into the paper surface and the gravure printing rests on top. The distinct layers of printing generate photographic and graphic realities that reflect the human presence in the natural world.

The fourth, and final volume, steps stop, was inspired by driving to the lake with the radio on while the frequencies flickered between the music of Arvo Pärt and other stations. This led to an exploration of the compositional structure of Pärt’s music. His use of a repeated and evolving triad structure with a parallel melodic line is echoed by the triad of sky-water-land and the floating words that slowly build, then stop.

This work is discussed as part of my presentation “Photomechanical Process as Poetic Craft”.


Process videos on Instagram: