Central to my new artist's book, Catholics, are its eulogiae, three portfolios that rely heavily on collage.
According to Colleen McDannell in Material Christianity, sixth-century pilgrims to sacred sites in Europe carried away tiny clay or glass ampullae that contained traces of dirt, oil, or water found at the visited shrine. Diagrammatic images of the location were also rendered on the exteriors of these souvenirs, called eulogiae. Each eulogia in Catholics attempts to conjure remembered space in a similar way: handwritten text and collaged images function as both architecture and performance.
In ‘Boys Town,’ the first eulogia, I attempt to create a papist Pleasure Island by contrasting stories of childhood sugar highs with events that reflect Church misogyny and violence.
In ‘Confessional,’ I use closet imagery and fragments of muscle mags as I mimic the rhetoric of Augustine by addressing my confessions to Joan Crawford.
And in ‘Dream Church,’ where hand-drawn illustrations start to invade, I try to spiritually rebuild by reflecting on my good fortune in meeting such a loving, inspiring, and ongoing collaborator.
To learn more about Catholics, read about its illustrated saints and images created from typographic ornaments!