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“ART in ART,” an original one-of-a-kind artist book, was created from artist Marsha Giegerich Torkelson's photographs taken as a tourist while viewing the art and architecture of South Africa’s new Constitutional Court in Johannesburg.
The welcoming, uplifting qualities of the building’s design which includes sculpture, mobiles, tapestries, paintings, bead, metal and woven work and much more begin on the exterior of the building and continue with many surprises inside.
She created collages by enlarging her photographs on transparencies and then placing them together with painted backgrounds to approximate the experience of viewing the Court’s integration of art into the architecture.
In her 43 collages, she tried to give a sense in a multi-dimensional manner of the Constitutional Court’s goals of social justice and transparency as one sees them in the many images and objects symbolizing one of the Court’s main themes: traditionally people gather under the trees to settle problems in African villages. Thus, one sees artists’ renderings of tree trunks, leaves, sky and shadows from light shining through the branches throughout the building—“justice under the trees.”
The collages celebrate these lofty themes and the art of the Constitutional Court as well as the spirit of all involved in its creation.
They were then photographed and printed on cold press etching paper. This compilation is displayed in a hardcover book protected by a sleeve and is 14” x 14”.
Its accordion format emphasized the architectural subject matter and allows more of it to be seen at once. Marsha presented one of the two books in existence to the Court as a gift. The book you are holding has been created to provide a more user-friendly version of the original artist book.
Marsha Giegerich Torkelson is a California artist working in San Francisco and Marin County. Her art began with photography in the early 1970’s while she was teaching English. Growing up near New York City and in a family of painters, it was not surprising that she began to paint. In the mid 1990’s she took some classes at SF City College while practicing as a psychotherapist, doing social work and raising two sons. A mixed media class in 1999 brought her two mediums, photography and painting, into the collage art form. Since 2001 she has traveled widely and uses her small digital camera to continue creating her art while away. Back in the studio her photographs serve as the foundation for her collage and painting series dealing with the themes and subjects from her travels. For more information, you can go to her website: marshatorkelson.com