Artifact of the month for August
Dolls, Steel & Cotton, 2015
Leslie Nobler is an art professor at William Paterson University of NJ and a digital printmaker and book artist. Her recent work reinvents sacred books and ceremonial artifacts using alternative digital print techniques. She exhibits extensively, including the New Jersey State Museum, Noyes and Montclair Art Museums (NJ), Old-Main Art Museum (AZ), Athenaeum Museum (PA), Kemper Museum of Art (MO), Afrigraphics Pretoria, and International Symposia on Digital Art in Bangkok and London.
The main story behind the artist’s book and proof print is genocide, children and their toys left behind. According to the artist the experience of this piece is meant to heighten the feeling of confinement: Visiting your beautifully-presented collection, I saw very tragic, sentimental items left behind by children who lost their lives, and this whole idea – the focus on dolls or play-figures – eventually came to me. Note that the book cover features the baby-carriage displayed at the Oslo Jewish Museum. While the Holocaust is obviously referenced, American genocide-like experiences by African-Americans (during slavery) and Native Americans play a large part in this body of work. These are all linked together, across many miles, by strings and threads, and unfortunate “stories” that repeat themselves.
The book and proof print is a gift to the Oslo Jewish Museum from the artist, Leslie Nobler herself.