By ELIZABETH FOOTE
“BookEnviron: Georgetown” is a beautiful art piece that leaves the viewer feeling tranquil and reflective. This piece consists of thin sheets of hand-made paper tied with twine to sticks that hang from the ceiling. The paper has a leaf-like design and strings are woven into each sheet, creating vine-like lines throughout the leaves. The sheets are arranged into two large spirals that meet in the center of the room, and whenever the air conditioning is on or someone walks by, the spirals gently sway. The piece appears to be soft and gentle, yet this is juxtaposed by its size.
This exhibit was created by twin sisters Meda and Veda Rives. “BookEnviron: Georgetown” is the Rives’ newest addition to their “BookEnviron” collection, which consists of installations that viewers can easily explore. According to the artists’ statement, the purpose of these pieces is to cause the viewer to acknowledge their need for a peaceful place where they can just relax and reflect. The collection developed from the question, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create artists’ books that are large enough to walk into?”
This piece is meant to have a sort of spiritual essence to it, with its lack of language and symbols allowing people from all faiths to find inspiration in it; through this mutual inspiration, hopefully viewers will find a sense of unity. Viewers are encouraged to let the piece take them on a journey of reflection throughout all areas of their lives. The spirals are designed to give a feeling of shelter and embrace as though you are being enclosed by their curves. The Rives sisters are known for creating art together and separately in their studio, Mirror Image Press. Their art has appeared all over the world, winning multiple awards. Veda works at her alma mater, Illinois State University as an Associate Director of Normal Editions Workshop. Meda also graduated from Illinois State University and works for Eureka College as an art faculty member.
This exhibit will be in the Anne Wright Wilson Fine Arts Gallery until Friday, Oct. 19. The gallery is open noon-4:30 p.m., so I encourage you to take time out of your busy day to not only visit this piece of art, but take a moment to reflect on it and yourself.