The images of the coral, square, circle and triangle are “pulp printed”, a hybrid silkscreen/papermaking technique, which Rotterdam learned from Tim Mosely. The images themselves are made of fine pulp paper, transferred to, pressed and dried together with the receiving kozo/cotton paper. Message (or image) and medium are one, a sea around the letterpress text, whose words and acts described harmonize with technique, material, color and shape. Here are “pages” 1 to 5 as a sample.
As with Sea of Things, Rotterdam achieves another singular union of technique and meaning in Absences. Where Sea of Things addresses selecting and collecting, Absences addresses loss, memory and the experience of time.
Rotterdam’s explanation of the connection between technique, material and meaning can hardly be bettered:
When I made my first cyanotype photogram ten years ago, I was immediately struck by the way in which light shapes against a deep-blue ground show, simultaneously and paradoxically, what was there when the paper was exposed but what is now no longer there: the photogram makes absences visible. This realisation has led to an exploration of the metaphorical properties of the cyanotype process and to speculation on the relationship between photography, mementos, and memory, between memory and loss, and on the nature of time, in six brief reflective texts.
Rotterdam’s site rewards repeated visits. It traces her development as a book artist since 2003 and demonstrates mastery and strength at each stage. Her work can be acquired through the site. Rotterdam lives and works in Groningen, The Netherlands, home to the Book Arts Network, Grid Grafisch Museum and De Ploeg, an artists collective started in the early 20th century.