Liz Menard
Nature of the River

This timely artists’ book, Nature of the River, explores the complex ecologies of the Don River. The Don flows through Toronto and empties into Lake Ontario. While researching the Don at the Toronto Archives, Menard found an 1888 map outlining the proposed channelization of the Don. This map identified the areas that were to be straightened, dredged, and reshaped for commercial purposes. This map prompted Menard to consider the river as a living entity – one that remembers. If the Don River has a memory, then it remembers the time before pavement… If the Don River has eyes…has ears… has a voice… Plant and animal species, habitats and the river itself provided a rich layering of morphologies for the work. Menard was deeply affected by the environments found while wandering the banks of the river. Although the Don has many friends who have worked tirelessly to restore it, the Lower Don remains a site where natural ecological predicaments loom. Menard’s etching of the 1888 pre-channelized map became the scaffold for her original prose about the Don: an urban river that reflects both the folly and the wonder of a river and a city in constant transition. This POD digitalized version of Menard’s limited edition hand-printed Nature of the River (2012) was completed in 2013. For Nature of the River – 2nd Edition, Menard hand-folds the accordion pages and then adheres them to a four panel hand folded wrap around cover she makes using St. Armand hemp paper.

Published by Skunkcabbage Press
ISBN: 978-0-9919708-3
3.5×5.5 inches, 12 pp, POD digital version of limited edition book incorporating original prose, etching, handset letterpress, four panel hand folded hemp paper wrap around, 2013
Open edition
$30.00 CAD

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Nature and the environment inspire Liz Menard. Sustaining environmental biodiversity is important and a recurring theme in her work. Menard is interested in native and invasive species and the natural, built and abandoned environments where they live. Fascinated by the Don River, Menard researched archival maps and images, which she combined with personal explorations (on foot and by canoe) to create a body of work that continues to explore what was and continues to be the nature of the river. Menard’s work is rich in detail and open ended to engage viewers and encourage dialogue about our role in helping nature and the environment withstand the pressures, stresses and tests of our times. Liz Menard is a Toronto born visual artist whose practice includes drawing, printmaking, painting and installation. Menard has exhibited national and internationally. Her work is held in numerous public and private collections including the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, The City of Toronto Art Collection and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. Menard is a member of Toronto’s Open Studio and The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG).

Skunkcabbage Press is Liz Menard’s self-publishing venture located in Toronto, Ontario. Limited editions are printed on a Vandercook SP15 Press. Hand set metal type is combined with original etchings and original prose.