Visual Memoir

The McCann Family by Karen DavisThe McCann Family 2008. blurb. 7.5″x7.5″. 34 pages. Photographs and text by Karen Davis

When my sister died, I inherited “The McCann Family,” dolls that she played with throughout childhood and kept with her all her life. Cheryl pretended she was Tom McCann, spunky and misunderstood. I was Mary Ann, Mother’s favorite. When Tom couldn’t stand on his own, Cheryl fitted him with crutches and braces like hers. (She had spina bifida.) Arranging the family in scenes, she created her private world.

Decades later, I place the four inch dolls on stage, directing their actions. I present my photographs in book form where the dolls are actual size and in large format prints to bring the McCanns and memories of childhood to life.

To the Flag: A Parade & Memoir to the Chimes of Freedom

To the Flag by Karen Davis: a parade and memoir to the Chimes of Freedom.
Photographs and text by Karen Davis, 64pages, blurb. 8″x10″, 2011

Thoughts of patriotism, social activism and the flag in Hudson NY occasioned by the annual flag day parade. Sixty-three photographs, personal essays and lyrics to song by Bob Dylan.

Central Square: volume 1-almost home by Karen DavisCentral Square: volume 1 – almost home, photographs and text by Karen Davis,
Docutech, 18 pages, 8.5″ x  5.5″ 2004

My move to Central Square, Cambridge MA and how it changed everything.”The greatest distance I ever leaped was from a charming bungalow at the end of a suburban lane to a shabby apartment on Western Ave.  It was Spring, 1973…..”.  Twelve photographs, personal essays and poems in sixteen pages, produced on Docutech.

Central Square dvd, photographs and personal essay "Leap of Faith" by Karen Davisdvd, Central Square, photographs and text by Karen Davis, 50 images and personal essay,
“Leap of Faith” 4 minutes,
produced by Mark Orton, narrated by Karen Davis

Artist Book: Beach Snapshots and Memories by Karen Davis
Beach Snapshots and Memories by Karen Davis, 2003 artist book, 10″ x 6.5″ x 1.5″

Timelines, snapshots, photocollages and memories of growing up through a series of stories and pictures at the beach from ages 6 to 15. Handmade codex, quilted covers.

"Adila", mixed media assemblage, by Karen Davis“Adila”, mixed media assemblage, by Karen Davis
Archive of photographs, books and objects,  15″ x 12″ x 4″, 2000.

A portrait of my mother. Includes books: The Ida Davis Book of Yiddish Expressions, The Ida Davis Book of Everyday Expressions, The Ida Davis Song Book and Aidila – An introduction to my mother. Forty business-card-size snapshots, two portraits, letters, a paid bill, Scrabble pieces, a baby bracelet, mourning ribbon, slide viewer and flame of memory.

My Left Hip: life as art, art as life - French Door style artist bookMy Left Hip: art as life, life as art. – French Door style artist book.
9″ x 12″ Personal Essay, 20 diptychs by Karen Davis, 2004
above, 1) book closed; 2) left cover open
below: book leafs open creating two diptychs

Photographs from hospitalization for hip replacement, paired in diptychs with fine arts paintings, sculptures, mixed media samples. Essay of childhood wish to be different like my sister and then confronting something wrong, fifty years later (and not liking it very much).

Diptych examples from "My Left Hip" life as art, art as life. French-Door style artist book by Karen Davis

Collaborations: Karen Davis and Mark Orton

Pretension: all about us by Karen Davis and Mark OrtonPretension: All About Us, photographs and text by Karen Davis and Mark Orton.
34 pages. 7.5″ x 7.5″ blurb 2009

“This year, Mark Orton and Karen Davis are the couple of the moment. While last year their efforts had an air of dry conceptualism, their present work breathes new life into contemporary appropriation……” From original multiple ed of 10, 2006.