Dee Dee Does Utopia

Dee Dee Does Utopia

by Deborah Faye Lawrence

What does utopia look like to you? In 2005, Seattle artist Deborah Faye Lawrence conducted an e-mail survey to find out. From hundreds of queries, she received 15,000 words in response, which she visually illuminated in mixed-media collages that depict twenty-six versions of utopia.

This volume brings elements from Lawrence’s survey together with other historical and literary utopian models. The imagery links many notions of idealized environments—from the natural to the fabricated—layered in surprising formations and integrated with text, evoking medieval illuminated manuscripts.

Text includes an autobiographical, anecdotal chronology of Lawrence’s artistic development and essays by Los Angeles art critic Peter Frank and Seattle critics Susan Noyes Platt and Frances DeVuono. The volume’s endpapers contain the entire 15,000-word corpus of utopian description gleaned from Lawrence’s survey.

The “Dee Dee Does Utopia” project was inspired by Lawrence’s desperation in the aftermath of the 2004 U.S. presidential election. “I couldn’t envision a positive future,” she said. “I needed to focus my attention on something besides the scudding police state, so I asked other people for ideas.”

The project was funded in 2005 by the Creative Capital Foundation, New York.

Deborah Faye Lawrence’s satirical collages have been exhibited in solo shows at Lincoln Center, New York; Provisions Library: Resource Center for Activism and Arts, Washington, D.C.; University of Pennsylvania; Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane, WA; UCLA Art Library; Catherine Person Gallery and Esther Claypool Gallery in Seattle, and many other venues.

Dee Dee Does Utopia
by Deborah Faye Lawrence
with essays by Peter Frank, Susan Noyes Platt, and Frances DeVuono
14″x10″; 44 pages
26 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-9778028-4-5
$35 US
Marquand Books, Seattle, Washington, 2008

The book is available for purchase at from HERE.

Post-Picnic Utopia
by Deborah Faye Lawrence
acrylic, collage and varnish on rag paper, board and frame
Courtesy of the artist