By photographer Sal Lopes and painter & writer Christine Arveil
Water Lines expands boundaries between an Artist Book and a photographic gallery. This rare art object, which opens and reads like an avant-garde book, also views like a print collection. Designed as a limited edition of 25 copies individually made at the artists’ studios, Water Lines pairs thirty-five prints from Sal Lopes’ Water Project with dedicated poems by Christine Arveil.
A transparent hinged box, presented in a couture silk wraparound, nestles the unbound, yet numbered pages. Each poem, printed and painted on translucent vellum, lays over a semi-abstract photograph on rag paper as waves brush over sand, offering ever-changing views and sensations. Playing with transparency and movement, every element in this work suggests water, by turns wild, peaceful and playful.
Abstraction is a new dimension in the work of Sal Lopes whose forty-year celebrated career as both photographer and printer touched on virtually every subject but abstraction. The images, not manipulated, record portraits of water in unsuspected dimensions and scales as nature’s strength collides with the photographer’s eye. Arveil’s poems, composed in the minimalist spirit of haiku match the energy of the photographs, as the words, brushed in black ink, flow into the full color prints.
Associating writing and painting is core to Arveil’s creative dynamic. Her current Volcano Project that originated as a novel and developed into a visual installation, confronts human and natural forces as a source of art creation. If fire powerfully shapes the Volcano, water is already its balancing element throughout the novel, in turn depicted as the raging or soothing sea, and as a fresh underground spring.
A collector’s gem, Water Lines is the dialogue of two artists at the height of their art. It was presented in Boston and during the first exhibition of The Water Project at the Jepson Center, Telfair Museum, in September 2011.