Tara Bryan: an exacting sense of play

March 2022

“When you hold one of Tara Bryan’s books in your hands, immediately you sense a remarkable intelligence at work. For Tara, books were never just simple objects—they were journeys, they were puzzles, they were possibilities.Trained at the University of Wisconsin by Walter Hamady, one of the 20th century’s premier typographers, Tara was a remarkable printer and book artist. Her books are elegant, playful, inventive, inspiring: an accordion book a foot tall that folds out like part of the Great Wall of China; a book that comes with a small homemade short-wave radio; another that lights up upon opening; books that expanded out as tunnels you could read through; one that sprang out of a box (Jack!!). Her books were brought to life by an exacting sense of play; they are thoughtful and thought-provoking and surprising. So it’s no surprise that it was for her book work that she was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts; that she won awards and commendations for that work; and that last year her book Making Bread Not Bombs was included in the British Library’s Artist Book gallery.”
Excerpted from Tara Bryan RCA (1953 – 2020), by Marnie Parsons https://billiemag.ca/tara-bryan-rca-1953-2020/
Images: Purple Haze (oil on linen, 24 x 72, 2010); Fissures (oil on linen, 30 x 24, 2017), courtesy Christina Parker Gallery