by Andres Aguirre
Mercurio newsaper, Santiago, Chile
Saturday Arts edition ("Notas de Arte")
April 8, 2001
For over twenty years the Californian painter, Mary Heebner has explored the relationship between the receptive medium of paper and the various pigments and natural materials, such as copper or silver pigments, available to her.
Her abstract work establishes a dialogue between prehistoric art and modern methods of creation. For example, she uses digital tools to produce the prints for her editioned work. She uses paper instead of canvas and this led Heebner to create artists books of images and writing. Her titles include: "Old Marks, New Marks"(1996), "A Chorus of Murmurs: Prayer Flags of Sikkim" (1997), and "Western Trilogy: The Prairie, The Ocean, The Desert" (2000). Her paintings and other works have been exhibited in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art among others, and internationally in countries such as China and Mexico.
In March of this year Heebner presented her artists' book in Chile; On the Blue Shore of Silence: Poems of the Sea by Pablo Neruda. This collection of watercolors and poetry is the first book that Heebner has made using another's text. The twelve poems of Pablo Neruda are accompanied by the translations of Alastair Reid, who was a personal friend of Neruda and is known internationally as the translator of Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges and others. Heebner received permission from literary agent Carmen Balcells to use the Chilean's poems in the original Spanish and Reid contributed his original translations for this book, of which there are only fifty copies, plus ten hors commerce.
On the Blue Shore of Silence is made through the giclée method which consists of scanning and digitalizing original watercolors painted by Heebner for the purpose of creating the book, instead of more traditional printing techniques. The prints give the illusion of the original texture and dimensionality that goes beyond a two dimensional surface. Heebner chose watercolor and the giclée method because she considered these to most faithfully reflect the sea that emerges through Neruda's writing.
You can arrange to view the book by appointment in the Library of the Neruda Foundation (La Chascona, Fernando Márquez de la Plata 0192) Mondays to Fridays between 9:30 and 1PM, and between 3 and 6PM. You can also make a virtual visit through www.maryheebner.com
— translation of original article by Andres Aguirre for Artes y Letras.
The Blue Shore of Silence,
poems of the sea by Pablo