Shift exhibition at San Francisco Center for the Book

February 21- April 6, 2014

posted by Macy Chadwick

This show represents five unique voices coming together to define the meaning of the word shift: each of us created a book of identical dimensions as well as a companion print to reflect a shift in perspective or point of view. Displayed together, this work speaks of the visual dialogue that occurs between wall and bookshelf, between large and small, and between print and book.

It was such a pleasure for me to install our Shift exhibition at San Francisco Center for the Book-- Despite attempts to post images online, the five members of Shift-Lab had very little time to make contact during the process of making our books in our 5 separate locations, so it was like Christmas to open all the packages of beautiful work shipped from other members of Shift-Lab.  It was immediately apparent to me why we had chosen to work together: the artwork reflected a shared aesthetic and careful attention to detail, but also I saw how our variety of perspectives, concepts and techniques really complemented each other.

Here are some images and artist statements from the show:


Installation view, Shift Show, San Francisco Center for the Book, Bracket Gallery, 2014.

Sarah Bryant, Shift in Position, 2014

"My take on shift: a shifting body during a restless night. The
arrangement and rearrangement of the panels echoes the kind
of repetitive half-dreaming that comes to me during periods of
sleeplessness. The imagery in the book and the print comes
directly from photographs of my body moving. The language,
when read in different orientations, speaks about ways that
we move and change without awareness."

Photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Tricia Treacy,  {redirecting shift}, 2014

"{redirecting shift} is an visual narrative that translates
characters (glyphs) and grid systems into a visual story.
What is left when we delete or remove the content? It
was inspired by strike-through text, glyphs and music."


Macy Chadwick, Shift in Perspective (book) and Shift in Perspective Part 1: Imaginings, 2014 (print)

"For my interpretation of *shift*, I looked at the same
conversation from two different perspectives within the
same mind. The dos-a-dos book format contrasts the two
views. A romanticized view of a conversation on one side
is full of layers and colors, imaginings and illogical interpretations;
an analytical view on the other side applies charts
and graphs to bits of the same imagery in search of meaning."

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Denise Bookwalter, Shape-Shifting, 2014

"This book is about the complexity and beauty in a simple
piece of paper as it shifts from a flat surface to a crumpled
ball. The paper begins as a level space with straight lines of
plaids but shifts to valleys and peaks revealing its topography.
3D modeling was used to distill the complexities of the
crumpled sheet to lines and form creating a unique landscape
visible only within the pages of the book."

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Katie Baldwin, 1825–1862–1918 (Shift), (book) and Mapping the Canal, (print) 2014

"The artist book and print investigate the three diggings of the
Erie Canal. In the same way that the canal is dug and re-dug,
a story is told and re-told. Each time, the canal’s expansion is
accomplished with improved technology—a narrative repeated
and rewritten from a new perspective."


Our books are being sold only as a set in a custom made box. Please contact us at shift-lab if you are interested in purchasing a set!

The opening of the Shift show on February 21, 2014, was well attended by Bay Area book enthusiasts-- SFCB Co-Founder, Mary Austin warmly welcomed everyone and I briefly introduced the idea of our cooperative and explained the theme of the show. If you missed the February opening, there will be an additional reception on Friday March 28, 2014, 7-9pm at SFCB, 375 Rhode Island, San Francisco. Four of the artists will be attendance to talk briefly about our work.

The show will be up through April 6, 2014.