Ensemble: a pop up orchestra

Few months ago I was invited to be part of the annual Book Arts exhibition organized by Laramie County Library The theme for this exhibit, Ensemble: Inspiration and the Artist Book, complements the Library’s 2018 music-inspired summer reading program, Libraries ROCK!

In the invitation sent to artists, the curators encouraged to think collaboratively and to involve other people in the creative process.

For my work “Ensemble: thirteen stories for one orchestra”, I asked friends and family to send me a short memorable story about a music instrument: a dream, an early recollection, an obsession, a funny anecdote: anything really, as long as it was important to them. Thirteen beautiful stories came back and most of them were about childhood memories.

linda toigo ensemble workinprogress

This detail inspired the style for the illustrations, that I carved out of lino sheets; I liked to work on this technique as I felt that my effort of carving material away reflected the act of recalling and writing down old and lost memories.

The aim was to print the images in two colours: when designing my illustrations, I made sure that the each instrument was separated from its context, in order to be able to spread two different inks on the same plate.

First I laser printed the text on Fabriano Academia 160 gsm paper, then I hand printed the images using a spoon and ink rolls.


I then made the first spread: I printed the musical instruments once more, and arranged them together in the first page, where they pop up like an eclectic orchestra when the book opens.


ensemble pop up

The book, an edition of three copies, was then hard bound as a concertina with a cloth cover.

linda toigo ensemble cover

linda toigo_ensemble all2

ph: Mattia Reiniger

linda toigo_ensemble concertina5

ph: Mattia Reiniger

linda toigo_ensemble detail2

ph: Mattia Reiniger

To visit this book in person and see how all the other artists interpreted the theme, the show will be on display at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne, WY from June 8 – August 8, 2018.

One comment

  1. Hi Linda! I’m Jennifer from the Laramie County Library who coordinated the exhibit with Sue. I LOVE your piece and loved reading about how it came to life in this post. I’m lucky to get to see it every day at work!

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