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Susan Woolf



Type of book work: Unique / sculptural book-object (one-of-a-kind)
Dimensions: Table: L 2meters x H 1meter x W 600mm. Horizontal rod H 2meters (Adjustable, depending on space and ceiling height in display area). Collapses into wood/glass box: 300mm x 330mm x H 50mm. Prints and paper all fit into the inside of the box. Paper 280mm x 305 mm per page folded, Length 15meters opened out. Prints 275mm x 305mm.
Media: Paper, wood, glass, gut, cardboard, acetate, hangers, metal clips, aluminium rod on a glass table

Artist's / designer's statements

ArtBOOK: The Other Side presents as a 3D installation of suspended pages with embossed gestures. Pages hang from hangers on a horizontal rail. 15 pages hover above the glass table.

When a gestural or spoken language, is coded as image or text, it becomes increasingly succinct and readable to a person who is blind. The meanings of things in the intangible - shadow, language, letters and codes - are subtle components of this delicate 'concertina' art book where shadow and light render visible the graphic embossed images of the Taxi hand signification language for people who are blind.

This 3D installation of suspended pages may potentially expand to 15 meters. Embossed images of gestures from the blind shape language are in relief on the pages that unfold and are suspended from a horizontal rail. 15 pages of 64, complete the installation. It is otherwise housed in a white wooden box with a glass lid. Generated in Illustrator and they are laser printed on wet paper at Artists Proof Studio.

Two laser prints in relief titled Short Hands present the total shape language contained in the ArtBOOK. A second coded text, which is more playful than practical, is part of the bottom of the two relief artworks. The 'Hieroglyphic like' symbols are written descriptions of gestures. The codes describe the components of a gesture and the direction the hand may be moving and may be adapted to be used in relief on a keyboard.



2013 Doctor of Philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg.
2004 Masters of Technology in Fine Arts (cum laude) Wits Technikon.
1970 Fine Art Teachers Diploma, Johannesburg School of Art.


1993 Carter Presidential Center Solo exhibition. Hostel Crisis Atlanta. South African Art to Atlanta during the Cultural Olympiad. It later became part of the 1996 Olympic Games.
1996 King Plow Art Center, Atlanta. Solo Exhibition. Towards Mandela.
1997 Washington National Jewish Museum - B'nai B'rith Klutznic. Exhibition of charcoal works from The Potter.
1998 Museum Africa: Solo Exhibition of the Healing Installation and thirty steel and resin Art books.
2011 Participated in a group exhibition entitled Talk to Me, on communication at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York. Taxi hand signs: Shape lingo for Blind people.
2013 Exhibited solo (Wits Art Museum). South African Taxi Hand Signs: Symbolic Landscapes of Public Culture.


Standard Bank Art gallery
Sanlam Art Gallery
The South African Jewish Museum
The Coca Cola art collection Atlanta, Georgia, USA
The New Constitutional Court Art Collection Johannesburg

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