Gambier, OH: Unit IV Arts, 2021. Sheffield’s visual and poetic meditation on “lostness” stems, particularly, from an article on Lost Person Behavior, which is the science of applying profiles to know how and where to search for someone, and, generally, from the pervasive and at times either abstract or tangible feelings of abandonment and hopelessness when faced with family histories of mental illness, suicide, substance abuse, and other mostly invisible manifestations of despair. By bridging scientifically exact lostness and psychological and emotional lostness, Sheffield voices the loneliness often inherent and underappreciated in individualism, especially when that individual considers the expansive and perhaps intimidating sweep of generational trauma. Sheffield gives that sweep visual grounding by spreading her poem’s lines across interleaved pages, denying organization where the reader might crave it. She also sets them amid aerial images of snowbound landscapes overlaid with askew grids. The reader must then experience lostness to access the text at all, and once they have reached the final page, are given no direction as to how to remove themselves and, further, might find it impossible to return the book to its original state. Sheffield’s innovative use of the interleaved triptych format thus mimics the arc of her poem, producing in microcosm affective responses of despair and confusion, and bringing astonishing artistic care and attention to mental illness and inherited pain.
16mo. (10)pp. One of eighteen copies, signed by the artist. Printed letterpress on Unryu white pages, with covers of Shirakabe and endsheets of Strathmore tracing paper. Held in four-fold chemise. Fine. Item #31414