"Poetry happens when short-circuits of sense occur between words, a sudden regeneration of the primeval myths... Not one scrap of an idea of ours does not originate in myth, isn’t transformed, mutilated, denatured mythology. The most fundamental function of the spirit is inventing fables, creating tales... [T]he building materials [that the search for human knowledge] uses were used once before; they come from forgotten, fragmented tales or ‘histories’. Poetry recognizes these lost meanings, restores words to their places, connects them by the old semantics."
- Bruno Schulz
Aimee-Beth Martens is a collage artist, sculptor and illustrator living and working in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She received her BFA from the University of Saskatchewan, and is the author of the online project The Child's Book of Wonder.
In my work I explore the multiple intersections of myth, fiction, symbol and story, with materials and objects. I'm interested in the lost, imagined and imposed narratives of objects and artifacts, and the phenomena of meaning implied by fragments, mistranslations, and lost signifiers.
For me, the perfect ground from which to explore these ideas exists in the book-as-object, and books are a recurring theme in my work as both subject and material. My process is rooted in the obsessive occupation of searching, salvaging, picking, and categorizing, as I perceive the act of collection to be the first kind of abstraction - abstraction of context. Through my exploration of the role of collector, I simultaneously curate while at the same time harvesting “orphaned books” for the controversial practice of book breaking.
In my artwork, I want to bring the viewer into the interstitial - the limbo that exists between image and text, text and translation, known and unknown - and to illume the poetries of word and form that exist in that limbo. I draw on the histories of absurdist and surrealist literatures, the traditions of book illustration and illumination, cartography, and the archetypes of our universal mythologies to explore the strange places in our shared stories.