The House Pages—A Collaboration
by Kit LONEY
I happened upon the house page structure while idly folding a leftover bottom section of a paper bag I’d cut the top part from. Initially, I used paper clips to hinge these together to make an accordion book. When I showed Gwylene this, she asked if it could be as long as one hundred feet – a City block – and so we got to work. Debra cut and folded many piles of pages. Nyla, Aysha, Shaniqua and Markelle all contributed to the painting of the surfaces, adding their own flair and making the whole more vibrant than what I had initially envisioned.
For my part, I continued working on the pages with various media: collage, paint, and graphite. Referencing the giant conNECKtedTOO map of the 2019, 1998, and 1968 MLK district, I labeled these pages with the names of each business, as well as some others from outside the MLK neighborhood. The intent was to spark recognition and/or memory of these tiny businesses on the part of viewers.
Collaboration extended to the displaying of the work, using JEMAGWGA’s ladders from a previous art installation. The book exists in sections. Anastatia envisioned having participants at the June 6 event hand-hold the multiple sections together in a great circle. In this way, everybody at that event became part of the book, and the stories and memories that were shared became part of it as well.
Oh, and I finally counted them– there were 197 house pages at the June 6 event, in their various forms.