Mixed Media Artist

The Piano Roll Project: Shared Sensibilities

December 1, 2015

Most likely you have seen some player piano scrolls in your travels.  They look like beautifully woven lace made out of thin 100 year old paper.  They carry a code similar to the jacquard loom.  Over thirty artists working in Maine and outside of Maine were invited to participate in “The Piano Roll: Shared Sensibilities.  The exhibit was in the Bates Mill which is in association with the Museum L-A.  The work was on exhibition from July 17th to October 30, 2015. As one of the artists invited to respond to this exhibit Ellen was given a scroll which had French lyrics.  She printed some enlarged motifs from its ornate label along with other elements from the translated song.  As Ellen threaded the 20 foot scroll through the etching press she used her “fast fiber” technique.

The song on her scroll, ” A Sparrow in Paris” described a woman in a public park scolding a boy as she spotted him throwing a sparrow.  The boy, a vagabond, told the woman that he was “the Sparrow, the kid from Paris” both he and the sparrow were brothers wh had fallen from their nest.  The woman decided to take the boy in and raise him.  Soon he wanted his freedom. Years later a sergeant came to the woman’s door.  The woman didn’t recognize him.  The man said he was the “Sparrow, the kid from Paris” and now he had come to take care of her.

Ellen felt connected to this story as both her sons are almost all grown up and she is soon to have an empty nest.