i am water

Tiffany Besonen

Tiffany Besonen

I am smoke
when I can be

More often
I am water

In the shape
of my container

─ LouAnn Shepard Muhm

i am water is Tiffany Besonen’s interpretation of the poem I Am Smoke When I Can Be, by poet LouAnn Shepard Muhm. The work is made from sewing pattern paper, paint, artist’s ink, wax and ink.

Tiffany Besonen is mixed-medium artist living in rural Minnesota, and has taught art in the Minnesota public schools for 20 years. She works both two and three-dimensionally, often using traditional sewing pattern paper as a medium inventing processes to use the material without losing its delicate and translucent qualities. Since 2010, poet LouAnn Shepard Muhm and Tiffany Besonen have been collaborating to create a collection of incantation bowls, Muhm’s incantation poems against fears are inscribed on Besonen’s translucent sewing pattern bowls with illustrations of surreal fox and crows in the centers. i am water traveled throughout the United States with the exhibition, The Veil: Visible & Invisible Spaces, from 2007 to 2013.

LouAnn Shepard Muhm is a poet and teacher from northern Minnesota. Her poems have appeared in Dust & Fire, The Talking Stick, North Coast Review, Alba, Red River Review, Eclectica, Poems Niederngasse, and CALYX, among other journals and anthologies. She was a finalist for the Creekwalker Poetry Prize, the Late Blooms Postcard Series and the Midwest Book Award for Poetry, for her full-length poetry collection Breaking the Glass (Loonfeather Press, 2008). She received the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in Poetry in 2006 and 2012, and has been featured twice in “What Light” poetry sponsored by the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Art Museum.