My father owned a restaurant when I was growing up and my mom was in charge of the bookkeeping . I can remember her sitting at our dining room table with the ledgers in front of her, writing in graphite on the smooth, creamy pages. The lines of red and aqua and the tiny boxes were mesmerizing to me. I longed for something to say important enough to fit into all of those splendid little boxes; instead, I scribbled all over them in an attempt to show my power over all of those lines.
San Franciscan artist, Jill Sylvia, has gone even further with her obsession of the medium with her works created from meticulously hand cutting the blank boxes out of ledger pages. The result is a fascinating blend of structured grids and a more pliable medium that moves and drapes seemingly more effortlessly that in its unaltered state.
In addition to simple, graphic displays of the completely deconstructed pages, Jill utilizes the resulting grids to create familiar structures such as the Jefferson Memorial and New York Stock Exchange building (below).
But some of her most fascinating work results from her collecting the discarded boxes and reconstructing them to create new grids. The sense that she has disassembled the highly structured only to create a mock of the original is what truly makes her work fascinating to me.
Jill’s beautiful and eclectic work can be found on her website (where these photo’s have been sourced) but I do encourage you to seek out her showings as they are truly fascinating in person. If you had a blank sheet of ledger paper, what you would be drawn to create?