The earth, memory and regeneration

Last year I received an invitation from Seth Apter to participate in a year long collaboration with 11 other artists. It was great to hear from Seth as we go way back to the days when people still blogged and we have visited each other through the years. I have not participated in a collaboration for a long while though, and while hesitant because of deadlines, I thought, this might be a good way to get me out of my malaise that I was experiencing when I got his email.

BGMills book art
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | artist book on memory, the earth, and regeneration

I’m really glad I said yes because I have to say I am happy to have made the book and am looking forward to seeing how people fill the pages. I included two writings by two Native American women writers and activists to serve as inspiration for the book, instead of a general theme, but the earth, regeneration and memory are threads.

Bridgette Guerzon Mills | protective wrap for my artist book

When I was getting ready to wrap the book up to send it on its way I knew I needed to make a protective wrap or bag or box of some sort. It would have been fine without it, but that little voice said, it needs to be done. My book is about memory, the earth and regeneration and it makes my heart happy that the cloth is from a pair of jeans that once belonged to my sister who then gave it to me. I wore them for years until they began to rip because the denim had become so soft, I began to wear them as my studio jeans. Then they started to rip more and so I mended them using other denim and decorative stitches and continued to wear those jeans until they literally fell apart and I could not wear them anymore. But I held on to the mended parts because I loved them so much. Now they will be part of the bundle to protect and hold my book as I send it on its way. The button was from an old sweater that I could no longer wear anymore either but thought the button was so cool and kept it.  I knew I would find a use for it. I pondered using a sweet grass braid for the cord, but opted to keep that in my studio and used another braided cord instead.

Time worn, life worn. Those are the things that speak to me. In life and in my artwork I love to find a new life for things that most people would discard.  

This morning I met with Leslie Marsh, who is such a talented book artist, and handed my book over to her. I will not see my book again until January 2020. Looking forward to seeing how it gets filled.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I have another friend who is participating in this collaboration too – Donna Watson. I’ve seen her beginning, and I’m looking forward to glimpses of the other finished books. I hope you’ll continue to post about the project.

  2. Even in pictures, the beauty and the strength within this book comes through. I cannot wait to see it – and touch that textured surface – in person when my turn comes. That wrap is the perfect addition as well. So happy you are a part of this.

  3. It’s been fun to see who the 11 are as you each one by one reveal yourself. It will be interesting to see how the styles begin to blend together…Have fun…and we will be watchingLaura

  4. Wow. The book is already so beautiful as is. I can only imagine how much deeper and more enticing it will get as it goes along. And the denim wrapping is a stroke of genius!

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