SETTING UP SURPRISES TO HAPPEN ON ERASURE PAGES
Now that sounds like a contradiction. But it doesn’t feel like one in practice. Think of anything you love to do that involves the unknown. Maybe it’s hiking on a terrain you have never before experienced and relishing the unexpected conditions and challenges that arise as you make your way. Maybe it’s listening mindfully to a piece of music in a style you’ve steered clear from in the past, just to stay open to aesthetic and emotional possibilities. Maybe it’s making a friend who doesn’t remind you of any friend you’ve had before.
In my case, it’s finding an old book and turning it into an entirely new narrative entity—with original texts and illustrations transformed by erasure and collage. Each page becomes an improvisation in which language emerges fresh and surprising and there are no limits on visual possibilities. Here are two pages from an erasure book I’ve just completed for my new granddaughter, Gwendolyn, for her future adult perusal: