Susan Rostow is a New York City-based artist, educator and the inventor of Akua™ printmaking inks and accessories. Her one-of-a-kind mixed media sculptural books and prints have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. Her work is in public and private collections including the The Allan Chasanoff Bookwork Collection at Yale University Art Gallery, the Library of Congress, National Print Archives, and the Portland Museum of Art, Oregon. She was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and served as an Artist in Residence through the New Jersey State Arts Council, Pennsylvania Arts Council, Montana State Arts Council, Alaska State Arts Council, Jamaica Art Center, New York and the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts.
My sculptural books are visual diaries created to look and feel like unearthed relics. Time and nature’s cycles are themes that are often repeated in my work. I invite the viewer to touch, hold and interact with my sculptural books as all the tactile qualities are not visible at once. Surprise elements, little worlds, intimate and bold, reveal themselves in the process of turning the pages. As the viewer becomes engaged in the sight, feel and smell of the piece, they experience a sense of visiting a strange but familiar place. The work becomes a reminder of the constant stream of change, which affects us all.
The process begins with a walk in the woods, beach or city. Objects are collected. A series of prints are created from the found materials. The prints are bound together with the objects using a mixture of mud, glue and pigment. Paper, tree fungus, roots, soil, bones and shells merge together, growing into the sculptural book. With the addition of each object a new dialog begins, the piece evolves. The work becomes a journal, recording a culmination of events taken place between nature and myself.