Crafting a cosmic identity and publication for Zipporah Camille Thompson’s exhibition at the Zuckerman Museum of Art

Logo design
Book design

Looming Chaos was an exhibition of works by Zipporah Camille Thompson, held at the Zuckerman Museum of Art. Thompson engages notions of chaos through weaving. Environmental deterioration, tumultuous personal histories, and complexities of her own identity are raw material for her work. Intertwining them with fine-art media and detritus, she creates fantastical fiber abstractions that signify the creative potential of destruction—rebirth.

The exhibition’s visual identity and publication invoke the most distinctive aspects of Thompson’s practice, from its vibrant and varied materiality, to its focus on the universality of catastrophic experience.

Client: T.K. Smith, Curator, and Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA

Zipporah Camille Thompson: Looming Chaos. Edited and contributions by T.K. Smith. Contributions by Dr. Maurita N. Poole, rosa mendez, Zipporah Camille Thompson, Diedrick Brackens, and Dr. Teresa Bramlette Reeves. Published by the Zuckerman Museum of Art at Kennesaw State University and Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, 2020. Swissbound hardcover, 112 pages, 8 x 12 inches. ISBN 9780991550203.

A primordial identity

To brand the exhibition and publication, we developed a logo that evokes the processes and cosmic themes central to Thompson’s practice.

The ouroboros is the ancient symbol for eternal return, a nod to the chaotic, creative forces Thompson contends with in her work. The hands are positioned as if they are on a loom, while the custom condensed sans-serif lettering and stacked typesetting suggest the loom’s warp and weft.

Weaving a practice into a publication

An amalgam of contents, visuals, and materials, Looming Chaos is more than a showcase of Thompson’s work—it is a spiritual extension of it.

The holography of the cover and endpapers evokes the possibility of transmutation. The bright red thread binding points to the book as a woven object. The book’s color scheme is based on works in the exhibition.

Looming Chaos features images of artworks, as well as a variety of texts: an essay by the exhibition’s curator, T.K. Smith; a suite of poems by rosa mendez; and a conversation between Thompson and weaver Diedrick Brackens, among others.

Prints of the artist’s sketches are tipped in between sections. Silver-stamped on black paper, they represent the glimmer of ideas, depicting works that were in the exhibition but incomplete at the time of publication.

Illustrations that I created for the book reference ecological and mystical interconnections. The ourorobos recurs in different forms. Twigs, cowry shells, and artifact cups and swords reimagine the four suits of a tarot deck; tarot, a way to discover order within disorder, is important source material for Thompson.