Rachel Melis

Whether, When, Where
intaglio images, letterpress type, handmade paper, painted wood and ribbons
6 x 3.5 x 3.5 in. (box)

My prints and books convey a settling process: my settling into the Flint Hills of Kansas (home of much of the last remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystem), the settling of my great, great grandmothers on the prairie in the 19th century, and the settling of prairie seed pods and other objects that, like books, act as transports for germination and regeneration.

My work suggests that I see my role as the artist as a reverse pioneer—one who observes, re-imagines and re-images what was overlooked by the first prairie pioneers—the vitality, diversity and importance of prairie populations: native peoples, plants and ecosystems.

© Rachel Melis