Today we’d like to introduce you to Cynthia Lollis and Daniela Deeg.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
ETC Press is an international collaboration between two women: Daniela Deeg and Cynthia Lollis. Daniela lives and works near Stuttgart, Germany, and Cynthia in Atlanta. We met as graduate students studying printmaking and book arts at the University of Georgia. We were exiles together in the Fabric Design department where we set up in a corner to screenprint on paper. Our first collaboration was motivated by an international competition to celebrate the book arts luminary, Johannes Gutenberg. Our entry won us a month-long publishing residency in his hometown, Mainz, Germany immediately after we graduated. We met likeminded artists while working there, and were especially inspired by the collaborative duo who became www.boatbook.de.
After each of us settled into our work lives for a few years, we craved more of that artistic energy and purpose that we felt while making the Gutenberg book. We researched a bunch of grants and residencies. A failed application for an NMWA grant turned into an acceptance to the Frans Masereel Centrum, a Flemish government supported printmaking residency in Belgium. That productive residency led to seven more, where we produced eight books over eight summers. In Belgium, we were lucky to work along-side many accomplished artists from all parts of the world. We continue to make books and prints today, traveling annually to each other’s cities to print. When we started out neither of us expected to make a career out of working together, but we’re now celebrating nearly two decades of friendship and fruitful artmaking.
Please tell us about your art.
We make collaborative prints and artists’ books as ETC Press. While working on an idea for an artists’ book, we often travel together to gather images and absorb the character of countries other than our own: where we are outsiders together. These books combine text with drawings and photographs made from our travels to places like Venice, Rome, New York, Copenhagen, the Black Forest, and Las Vegas. We’ve also created pieces comparing our two homes or backgrounds. Luftperspektive / Aerial View is such a book. Photographs in this double-sided accordion book afford 360º panoramic views of our two cities: Stuttgart from the Television Tower (Fernsehturm Stuttgart) on one side, and Atlanta from the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel on the other. A poem by Rainer Maria Rilke is handwritten into the silhouettes of native birds circling above their landscapes. This artists’ book is about varying and shifting perspectives, and because of the materials we used, it is almost as light as air in your hands.
As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success for us is to have our work exhibited and collected. Our books and prints are regularly collected by institutions in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the USA. It’s nice to think that our work will be valued and preserved for longer than we’ll be around.
We are honored to have been featured in a number of exhibition catalogs and books about artists’ books. We are especially proud of having a chapter in Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists and being included in the South African exhibition and catalog, Booknesses: Artists’ Books from the Jack Ginsberg Collection.
Most successful artists have perseverance. Stick with it even when making art is hard. If you do, and you show your work, people will notice.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
People can see our work in museums, national libraries, academic libraries. Locally, we have a number of books in SCAD’s ACA Library Artists’ Book Collection in Atlanta and the University of Georgia’s Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library in Athens.
We also have work in three exhibitions right now. Two are in Atlanta.
“The Book as Art: Flight Edition” Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta)
“Page by Page: Contemporary Artist’s Books” Hudgens Center for the Arts (Duluth, GA)
“Best of 2018“ Galerie DRUCK & BUCH (Vienna, Austria)
- Website: etcpressbooks.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @etcpressbooks
Photos by Walker Montgomery and by artists