While abroad in Italy in 2002, Church began hand-binding sketchbooks. Drawing, note taking, and writing in these books is an integral part of Church's artistic process. The books are art pieces in their own right and serve as guides to the history of completed paintings. Church writes poetry as a way to get to the core of her artistic experience, and to discover the meaning behind her paintings and drawings.
sketchbooks from 2009, 2011, 2016
sketchbooks from 2011, 2016
sketchbooks from 2011, 2015, 2016
sketchbooks from 2011, 2013
Since 2004, Church has worked on various artist book projects. While at the Cite Internationale des Arts residency in Paris, France in 2004, Church researched and conceived of the artist book Elemental with collaborators Shelby Lattis and Amy Seibert. The artists traveled to sacred sites both ancient and modern throughout France, Italy, and Portugal. In 2012, Church wrote, illustrated, and bound a book of poetry titled The Leap and Fall. The poems explore themes including muse, memory of home, time, and catastrophic weather. The text is digitally printed and the images are hand printed from plates created from graphite drawings. Church's book Painting the Weather, poems 2013-2020 was printed on the occasion of her show Nocturnes in March of 2020. This book is digitally printed and contains images of ink paintings and poems. In late 2024, Finishing Line Press will publish Church's first chapbook of poetry titled Entangled along with images of paintings made during the pandemic.
"Painting the Weather" poems 2013-2020 digitally printed text and original drawings, edition 20, INQUIRIES email in contact
"Elemental" by Emily Church, Shelby Lattis, and Amy Seibert 2005, digitally printed, edition 20, INQUIRIES email in contact
"The Leap and Fall" poems 2012, hand-bound, digital text, hand-printed images, edition 20, INQUIRIES email in contact
Writing poetry is an integral part of Church’s process. The writing allows her to get at the heart of the images she is compelled to make, though rather than answer the questions put forth by the images, the writing often deepens the questions themselves.
O F F E R I N G Glowing suns in the palms of your hands cupped upturned toward my face you show me what you’ve picked from the transient gardens the marigolds shine like gems unfolding and unfurling tessellating toward the center the deep pockets holding secrets only the bees can know and you in your black eyes recalling other lives, perhaps when your soul was a ball of light expanding, or contracting in and again, further in like the folds of these flowers you gift to me lightly, though they contain whole worlds and you, the explorer touch them tenderly as they spill over the iron fence faces bent to kiss the pavement.