A Spiral of Books and the Sky Above

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This past month, the Rocky Mountain Land Library was honored to be part of a new exhibit at Denver’s RedLine Gallery. Closing this past weekend, the Land Trust exhibit featured socially engaged art exploring land and place. What we brought to the mix was a spiral of books, and the launch of the Land Library’s first nature-in-the-city outreach, the Cloud Atlas Project.

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Land Trust was curated by RedLine’s Libby Barbee and Kirsten Walsh, thoughtfully pulling together the work of artists  Ryan Feddersen, Megan Gafford, Brian House, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Daisy Patton, Becky Wareing Steele, and Tory Tepp.

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The Book Spiral was assembled from a diverse array of ladders stored in the Puritan Pie Factory (the Land Library’s future urban branch). The hovering Book Cloud consists of old fencing wire from Buffalo Peaks Ranch, holding aloft pages of books rescued from the recycle bin.

And the spool of barbed wire? That’s on loan from Buffalo Peaks Ranch!

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We’ll be talking more about the Cloud Atlas Project (CAP) in the month’s ahead. The RedLine show was just the start of an ongoing celebration of Denver’s cloudscape. (For more information, take a look at CAP’s new website!).

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The RMLL cairn marked the start of the Book Spiral,

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with a diverse assortment of books along the way — all focused on people and the land,

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ending with a small reading area, and a table where gallery-goers stacked books to browse through. Who knows what new connections were made in the middle of the spiral?

The morning after the August 11th opening, artist & Land Library board member Eileen Richardson, spoke to a gathering at RedLine. Eileen spoke about the power of the book:

A book is a cultural object. The physicality of the pages, the spine, the indelible glyphs, the weight, the front cover, the texture of the paper, could indeed be called a sensual experience…. 

Books don’t require swiping or scrolling, they don’t allow pop-up impediments to your concentration, they don’t try to sell you things you don’t need, and they do not require electricity.  We feel that readers become more invested in books, and are more likely to absorb information and develop long term relationships with them. With the intersection of place, land, ideas, and the natural world occupying a larger part of our attention, actions, and conversations, the historical dialogue the books offer,  is particularly necessary in our loaded, inflammatory present.” — Eileen Richardson

Thanks to RedLine, and curators Libby Barbee & Kirsten Walsh for inviting the Rocky Mountain Land Library to be a part of the Land Trust exhibit!

And thanks to Wes Magyar for his wonderful photos of the exhibit. All photos above (except for the first) were taken by Wes Magyar.

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