Shannon Gerard at The Toronto Zine Library
Today I made a long overdue first visit to the Toronto Zine Library (TZL), to hear
Shannon Gerard talk about her practice of making art books, self publishing and her recent series of multiples Boobs and Dinks: Early Detection Kits.
Shannon has been making print-based book art and multiples since the late 90's exploring "loss, faith, fear and other melancholy things." And her work is a stunning collection of hand crafted objects of art created to inspire dialogue and a relationship with the people who read them.
In recent years her books have taken the shape of a zine called 'Hung'. The loosely autobiographical series consists of 3 titles and the latest issue Lonely Tylenol, "chronicles the fear [she] felt when [her] partner found a lump in a testicle last year." The experience inspired a whole new body of work: Boobs and Dinks: Early Detection Kits.
The kits are intended to soften the fear of self-examination for cancer and include 1 plush crocheted breast or penis, (with a little lump inside each for practice) and the appropriate booklet with step-by-step instructions and illustrations for self exams.
They are a humorous approach that breaches a dark subject and the little boobs and dinks are absolutely adorable. Not to mention that $5.00 from each kit sold is donated to Cottage Dreams, a cancer recovery initiative.
If you missed her talk today, Shannon has a room at Canzine (Sunday Oct. 20), where she will be screening a multimedia presentation that includes models in crocheted strap-ons who can show you how it's done.
The volunteer-run Toronto Zine Library is located in a cozy room on the second floor of the Tranzac Club, (292 Brunswick Avenue, south of Bloor) and is home to over 1500 zines, comics and vintage magazines. Hours of operation are whenever the Tranzac is open and TZL staff is available in the library on Sundays from 1pm - 3pm.
To learn more about the indie book and art community in Toronto checkout Shannon's
How to Play Good At Indie introductory guide.
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