By Shawn Sheehy
Chicago: Paperboy Press, 2014. Edition of 30.
Shawn Sheehy: "My artist books explore the dynamic ecologies that operate in both wild and cultured environments. In the wild, I'm interested in the feedback loops that maintain healthy proportions among carnivores, herbivores, and plants in a given ecosystem. I suspect that adopting these wild-world ecologies might be useful in our efforts as humans to live sustainably, and they might serve as antidote to a Western production model that requires growth, expansion, and an ever-increasing profit margin. I also enjoy studying the ways in which biological evolution and cultural evolution inform each other."
EELIO is the second in the Enviro-Gods Series - the first in the series being Hesperana (editioned for a Hand Papermaking Portfolio, and therefore not available for sale as an individual unit).
Shawn Sheehy: "With Hesperana, the name is built from 'rana,' a genus for frogs, and 'esperanza,' Spanish for hope, and 'Hesper,' the evening star for the greeks. This frog diety plays with the idea of frogs being a sort of miner's canary of the natural world, since frogs will be one of the earliest species to show mutations in a toxic environment. Her 'super-ness' is evidenced by her little pink wings that pop out when her tab is pulled -- these same little wings are also meant to reflect that weird extra limbs that show up on the poisoned mutant frogs.
"With Eelio, I'm aiming for a number of the similar plays of word and biology. Eelio is a fusion of 'eel and 'helio.' Helios is the greek personification of the sun (source of energy) and of course helium is named after Helios. Helium has the strange characteristic of being somewhat rare on Earth, but particularly abundant in the universe. Helium stands then as a useful symbol for the energy paradox we experience on the Earth – we have abundant energy, but we can't figure out the right ways to use it, and are therefore quickly and inefficient depleting our finite sources. Because some eels can generate their own electricity, I like it as an animal to serve as an energy god. I like how putting solar sails (method for efficiently collecting and using solar energy) as wings onto an eel body, and then also giving that body the cool breath-flame of natural gas burning (reflecting human use of natural energy resources) also becomes very dragon-like, and reminiscent of mythical creatures of which we are accustomed."
7 x 7.5"; 2 pages. Single tab pull up. Typesetting and assembly assistance by students of Lawrence University and the Paper Fox Printmaking Shop. Letterpress printed by Benjamin Rinehart. Written, Designed and Engineered by Shawn Sheehy. Signed and numbered by the artist.