Beeswax, Hand-painting, Natural Pigments
Hahnemühle, Kozo Paper
New York, NY
Kelp from the shores of southern Maine are mounted onto Hahnemülle paper and stained, painted, and frottaged, using natural pigments— turmeric, walnut, beet, paprika, coffee, and wax. The binding is a modified tapes binding glued onto Shiramine kozo paper. The hardbound covers are a mosaic of eggshells embedded into beeswax from the artist’s beehive. The spine is wrapped in heavy grit sandpaper, providing a solid handle to grasp the book. Endless is an adventure in texture—a favorite topic of Allerslev’s. As a botanist and chemist, he keeps bees on a Bronx rooftop and turns to his knowledge of phytochemistry to create imagery bound up in a fascination with materials and the environment from which they come.
The kelp forests off the NE Atlantic coast are an incredibly vast, diverse aquatic environment, being devastated by neglect and misuse of resources. Lobsters that once grew to huge craggy monsters are the keystone species, feasting on the urchins that graze on the kelp. As the over-harvest of lobsters attempts to keep pace with Maine tourists seeking a true northeastern experience, these creatures now rarely grow to a few pounds in size, and their numbers are dwindling. Along with the increase in the price of lobster, the growing sea urchins population is feasting on the kelp, which can grow to tremendous lengths, and the remains wash ashore for book artists to collect.