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Bea Nettles: The Imaginary Blowtorch

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The Imaginary Blowtorch
With poetry by Grace Nettles (American, 1919–2007)
[Philadelphia]: self-published, 1973
Edition of 100
Bound volume with offset lithographs, screen prints, polyester film, tissue paper, applied color, and vinyl cover
George Eastman Museum, Richard and Ronay Menschel Library

In The Imaginary Blowtorch, Nettles combines self-portraits and images of her family. She incorporates transparent plastic pages with pictures printed on them. As the reader moves through the book, the images overlay different pages. In this book, Nettles juxtaposes her images with poems composed by her mother, Grace—something she would do again in her books The Elsewhere Bird (1974) and Of Loss and Love (1975).