A review by Shirle Gottlie from Art Scene, California
"Novel Constructions" (through August 16 at Long Beach Museum of Art) consists of eight large scale constructions by six female artists who work within in the "book art" genre. Yes, these are essentially books, but no, you cannot grab any off the shelf to hold them in your hands. Most literally, you will encounter an oversized book. But then there is a room papered over with diary pages, pages formed into a large sacred ring, the text of the "Odyssey" cut up and reshaped into a labyrinth. Lots of "Wow" in this show.
Excerpt from the review in July newsletter of Art Scene, California
You have to see "Detritus" to believe it, only to discover that the facts behind Mary Ellen Long's installation are as exciting as the finished project. Using essential ingredients from nature, Long has created a faux forest that stretches the length of the gallery. Lying on the floor of this make-believe wilderness are seven handmade paper books constructed from decomposing paper. Displayed among fallen leaves, they lay opened at the base of cast-paper trees that range from 1 to 7 feet tall. Every year for the past 18 years, Long stacked pages of handmade paper outside her Colorado studio before it snowed. In the spring, after the snow has melted, she retrieves the paper and goes to work. Noting the transformation that has taken place due to nature, time, and decay. Long uses the paper as material to recreate her forest scene, time, and decay. Now, almost two decades later, "Detritus" culminates her annual ritual, as well as an exceptional exhibition.