Monday, February 9, 2009
written directions (web and pdf)
This month's Umbrella Accordion Book is a tribute to Judith Hoffberg, the creator and editor of Umbrella magazine, who passed away in January. This wonderful magazine had an emphasis on artists' books, mail art, and Fluxus, but was filled with Judith's wide knowledge of the art world and her intrepid spirit. Most recently an online publication, it was for most of thirty years printed on blue paper. It was the only magazine that I always read the day it came in the mail. Judith also was the creator of The International Edible Book Festival which occurs annually on April 1st.
The accordions here have no covers. The blue book was made from a piece of used copy paper folded in half the long way with the writing on the inside. I glued the two sides together to give the paper more support since I was cutting the narrow umbrella stems. The second accordion was made from the front panel of a grocery bag cut in half the long way.
Each umbrella has a verse to a count-down poem:
There were four umbrellas sitting in a row.
The purple one said," I'm going out to feel the rain on me."
And now there are three.
The red one said, "I'm going out to see something new."
And then there were two.
The blue one said,"I'm going out to have some fun."
And then there was one.
The green one said, "I'll stay inside. Here comes the sun."
I have no idea why but February 10 is Umbrella Day.
BOOKS AND LINKS
Yellow Umbrella, a wordless book by Jae Soo Liu accompanied by a CD with music by Dong Il Sheen
The entire book is shown from high above, looking down on a rainy day. One yellow umbrella leaves the house and we follow it as other umbrellas join it on its journey. The beautiful paintings leave lots of room for imagination. The writer/illustrator wrote: "...whenever it rains, I watch for children carrying their colorful umbrellas. Whether they were boys or girls, fat or skinny, tall or short, I realized that under their umbrellas their differences disappeared. What remained in my mind was the visual image of the harmonized colors and movements of their umbrellas. It seemed to me that these children were claiming that they were all equal in spite of their differences."
There is an accompanying CD of piano music.
Umbrella by Taro Yashima
A tender story of a young girl who impatiently waits for the time when she can use her new umbrella.
The Umbrella Party by Janet Lunn, pictures by Katy MacDonad Denton
Christie loves umbrellas so much that she asks all her friends for umbrellas for her birthday. An eventful party at the beach ensues.
Judith Hoffberg's Umbrella magazine
Judith's obituary in the LA Times
Wikipedia information on umbrellas
Kids in Action: Young Inventor from Japan Gets Patent for His "Umbrella Ghost"