10.8 × 10 in
The University of the Witwatersrand, Wits Art Museum (WAM), Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts
Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg, Zentralbibliothek
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), William Andrews Clark Library
Erbe pairs the poem, “Legacy,” by Berlin-based author Kerstin Hensel, with a unique artistic creation by Veronika Schäpers. The poem address the relationship between an older and a younger generation; the responsibility of the younger to care for the older, and the guilt that comes from not fully meeting this responsibility.
The poem describes a grandmother who receives the same gift every year from her grandchildren: a collectible cup. While the grandmother accepts and uses these cups for her daily coffee, she also reminds her grandchildren, “They will be yours in the future.” Hensel’s image of the grandmother drinking her coffee in a collectible cup inspired Schapers to work with the kitschy lace paper doilies often found in the homes of elderly women and old-fashioned cafés.
Schapers printed parts of different patterned lace paper using two-tone frottages on thin handmade ganpi-paper, which was then mounted to a paper tablecloth. She also embroidered the text of Hensel’s poem on a white linen dishcloth, reminsicent of the monogram-stiched clothes and fabrics of an older generation. The result is two typical heirlooms: a table cloth and a dishcloth. Both pieces are stored in a paper wrapping similar to those used in Japan to protect precious kimono fabrics. However, the wrapping is folded so often that it acquires the shape of a sofa cushion, an impression supported by attached labels on which the imprint is printed in letterpress.
Text: Kerstin Hensel
Frottage of lace papers on ganpi paper in light green and pink, mounted together to a two-layered tablecloth. White linen cloth embroidered with the poem “Erbe” in silver-grey. Paper-wrapping in the shape of a japanese tatoushi (wrapping paper for kimono). Imprint on embroidered and printed labels. Size of tablecloth: 91 cm x 91 cm. Size of linen: 60 cm x 80 cm. Size of the wrapped object: 27,5 cm x 25,5 cm. Edition of 15 Arabic numbered copies.