A shift in Intention

A shift in position.

A shift in balance.

A shift in habit.

Shiftlab is Katie Baldwin, Sarah Bryant, Macy Chadwick, Denise Bookwalter and Tricia Treacy. We come together as a group in a shift from our individual practice and process. To inaugurate this new collective we are producing a book with common dimensions and a common theme.

The specifics of the project: Each of the five of us will design, print and bind a small edition of an 11x16 cm book with the theme or title of Shift. An accompanying print of larger size will reemphasize that theme by forcing a shift from three dimensions to two, from small to large, from sequential to static. We will house the five books together in an enclosure. This project physically marks the beginning of our collaboration and will ideally serve as a catalyst for future ambitions, new group projects, exhibitions, and a catalog.

I am returning to this book today after an absence of a few weeks. My time for my own work has been limited over the last few months, as it is for so many of us, and I am grateful for a project with group ownership and agency to give me solid footing back in the studio.  As I think about this book I think about my own shift from the US to the UK and how it has served to cut me off, in part, from the creative community that I developed when I was living closer to home. But enough about me.

A shift in tone. A tectonic shift. A shift is a dress. It is a key on a keyboard. It is a slippery word that marks violent change and a subtle motion. I am trying to make a book about a shift in position, the movement of a body turning over in bed or reaching for something on a high shelf. I am trying to make the book physically capable of a shift by including a fold in the spine that will change the imagery with movement.


So today is a day for models and mockups, a frustrating and satisfying investigation of an idea that has cooled slightly after a month of neglect. Coming back with fresh eyes will answer some questions, I hope, about what is working and what needs to change. Working with other people is unusual for me, even in this remote and independent way. While I tease out my project I am enjoying the sensation that other people are working away on mockups and sketches that will yield a portion of one final product . We are separated by thousands of miles. This post is the first glimpse that Katie, Tricia, Denise and Macy will get of my fifth of our new endeavor.

A shift in intention. A shift in attention from the singular to the plural. Stay tuned for more.

Sarah Bryant, over and out.