Stiff covers with flap-over French fold, leporello, hand-bound (glued), design and layout by Douglas Stockdale, edition of 99 + 5 A/P.
Anxieties collectively effect 284 million adults worldwide and is considered one of the most prevalent health condition concerns globally. There are many forms and varieties of this mysterious condition and this project investigates one variant; separation anxiety, which affects me to various degrees.
I self-published a limited-edition artist book Middle Ground as a gut-reaction to current political events occurring in the United States in 2016 as it related to the California border with Mexico. The beauty and angst of a border-land was represented by a section of the California I-5 Freeway as it transverses through northern San Diego, a roadway that has its median planted with ornamental Oleander bushes.
The Oleanders demark a freeway boundary while partially obscuring from view the opposing traffic and city landscape beyond. These plants are also one of the world’s most deadly plants, thus functioning as a living barbed wire barrier. It is a freeway beautification plan that has seen better days and unbeknown to me, was also doomed by urban growth. Perhaps it was the underlying anxiety of the Oleander which was silently speaking to me?
I have since realized that I was examining an urban landscape that resonated with my feelings of alienation, apprehension, melancholy and isolation. This stretch of middle land elicits a sense of loss and melancholy and functions as a metaphor for separation issues, barriers to personal connection, and a tension resulting from seeing distant opportunities that seem beyond reach. This work expands on my investigation of the passage of time and the issues of reality, anxiety and memory, and the contradictions where these intersect.
Artist/photographer Douglas Stockdale is self-publishing his third artist book, Middle Ground (En Medio Tierra) which is his fifth book.
Place: Southern California
Publisher: Self published
Size: 22 x 17 cm (approx.)