Somnambulist Tango Press

303 S. Harding St.
United States
I am the sole worker bee!
Whether building a book, broadside, or wall piece, I am visualizing my relationship with language – its formal structure, the units it is made of, and the inherent and applied subtexts. Because this is a broad approach, I often choose a physical structure or set of symbols as a starting point and let each piece’s subject determine its own visual vocabulary. Pieces are often a response to an idea or experience; at times the making of the piece is the embodiment of the experience. The work is always an attempt to travel toward the place beyond language, to name the unnamable. If the viewer can take the trip with me – if I have communicated successfully – the work is much more rewarding. Making myself vulnerable is the catalyst that opens the door between the viewer and the image/language. At times, my work has been described as esoteric, oblique, and “too beautiful.” Conceptually, the pieces make connections between disassociated objects and concerns. Such work may take a viewer some time to assimilate the concept I’m presenting because beauty is its own aesthetic concern. Would you view a garden and call it overwrought? If a piece of art is intense in its beauty, is it vacuous in its meaning? My goal is not be excessive but to be encompassing. Ultimately, I make work that reveals itself over time, shifting and layering its nuances and meanings, a projection of language and experience.
Broadside created for Colum McCann's visit to the ECU Campus.
Broadside created for Colum McCann's visit to the ECU Campus.
from the book Sleeper.
from the book Sleeper.
from the book Migration.
from the book Migration.
Broadside created for Colm Toibin's visit to the ECU Campus.
Broadside created for Colm Toibin's visit to the ECU Campus.
Interview with Lisa Beth from Somnambulist Tango Press
When did you start letterpress printing?: 
What do you like best about letterpress printing?: 
Giving physical presence to language - color, texture, typeface, and the images become the embodiment of writing.
What inspires you?: 
So many things - hearing poetry read aloud, images of the sky, travel, seeing how different people craft language, the skin of an orange, and so much more.
Which press(es), ink & paper do you usually use?: 
Lucky # (Vandercook) 4! I usually use Van Sons oil based ink and either paper that I made myself or French paper.
How would you describe your artwork?: 
Subtle, detailed, thoughtful.
What kind of products do you create?: 
Primarily broadsides and books.
Do you offer custom work?: 
Where can we buy your products?: 
from me.
Do you offer workshops? If yes, what kind of?: 
I teach letterpress and book arts workshops.
Is there anything you wished you had known as a beginner?: 
If necessary, starve the ink. Most people use too much ink.
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