Beautifully designed and lovingly crafted by Kim

Over the course of the continuing restrictions on meeting in person, we members of VI have been exchanging cards, prints and ephemera on roughly a monthly basis. I fell far, far behind in sending out my contributions and to punish myself I refused to let myself open any of the mail I received until I had caught up (I’m looking at the stack of received but unopened VI mail on my desk right now and it’s embarrassingly high).

Fortunately I’m now caught up and am beginning to open the mail although slowly – I’ve dreamed of opening this mail for so long I plan to savor it. And I want to share the experience.

A couple of days ago I opened this envelope from Kim and was immediately awed by the handcrafted goodness within. You can see in the image above there is a very beautiful pouch with goodness inside. Removing the contents revealed a collection of prints bound in a handcrafted container upon which is written “Sometimes it’s hard to know” in the upper left corner, continuing in the lower right corner (upside down) “Which way is up”.

Which way is up?

I had to laugh, because within the VI group it is well known that I abhor the picking up of a print (particularly one of mine) and rotating it to determine which orientation is most pleasing. Even now I can feel my teeth gnashing at the thought. So I am enjoying Kim’s reference to this personal quirk of mine.

Three beautiful prints that present a puzzle that may or may not be solvable. Which way is up?

Removing the prints is a religious experience – they are exquisitely printed and feel great in the hand, the paper chosen being exactly the right weight. (the beautiful background of all three prints is most correctly represented in the middle print). I love the very graphic presentation of tree limbs set against the sky, sufficiently abstract to make choosing the “correct” orientation no sure thing.

And that’s the final gift within this gift. The puzzle draws me in, makes me think, makes me handle and rotate the prints, which makes me think again. I may come up with a preferred orientation, but thanks to Kim’s brilliant piece I will immediately question my choices. Which leads me to think more generally about orientation of abstract images in particular. And haha, it confirms very solidly for me that it is the artist’s sole responsibility to know and own the correct orientation of their work.

So Kim – which way is up?