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Tamar (Tammy) Stone

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I have always been interested in narrative storytelling through framed images. As a photographer, I work to freeze a moment in a frame; as a filmmaker I sequenced those moments in a series of moving frames. Bookmaking was a natural extension of these ideas for me and allowed me to draw further elements of my personal experience into the art process. My interest in body/image/womens shapes has come about because during 1970s, from the ages of 13-18, I wore a brace (23 hours a day) for 6 years for spine curvature (Scoliosis). In 1984 I again found myself in a corset/brace for a herniated disk.

Through all of this, I developed a sensitivity to ‘correction’ and the need to fit in. The stitched stories on these corsets are from a variety of sources. I have incorporated text from the behavioral manuals of various historical periods, which describe prescriptions of public and private deportment, as well as personal narratives of modern women who have lived with these physical constraints. These same texts and relationships inform my corset books as I create a resonance with the rules and perceptions, which have been confining and defining women’s postures. These projects express my feelings about with using voluntary ‘restraint’ to comment on the involuntary restraint that I experienced. My books are a continuation of my expressions and pay homage to understructures, which have voluntarily or involuntarily supported and corrected women.

The Bed Books were created out of my interest in the history of housework. Because women have always been associated with the home, hearth and all the domestic duties that belong to them, this project was an extension of my fascination of women being confined and defined within certain societal walls – but this time, within what has been referred to in Victorian times as the “Guilded Cage” – their homes.

I believe that the bed is the center of the home. Historically our life cycle began and ended in the bed, from time we were born in one to the time we passed away, all within our homes. In the second half of the 20th century so much of our lives have been taken out of the home and moved to places where we become handled and managed by institutionalized specialists. Because of these beliefs, I became interested in the stories of women and their beds. In order to read these stories, one must become intimately involved with the bed, pulling back the covers to "turn the pages", unmaking the bed. The only way to close the story is to re-make the bed, mimicking the actions of housework that women have been doing for centuries.

All of this work is a form of “artist books.” However, I feel that the definition of a "book" is really wide open. I believe it has something to do with layers and pages in which a narrative unfolds with or without a traditional “spine” to support a physical book. I realize that this kind of "slow" art is not so popular in these digital days of "immediate gratification." However, for me, taking the time to slow down to untie all the ties, unfold the covers on a bed, to be able to read all the text, is part of the contemplation and therapy of the process; echoing what women have been experiencing throughout the centuries whether it be dressing or undressing, or doing housework.

New York, NY
New York
North America


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Tamar (Tammy) Stone Web Page, all art work
Tamar Stone VIMEO videos
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