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

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

Zipporah Camille Thompson: Looming Chaos. Edited and with 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. 112 pages, 8 x 12 inches.

Artist Zipporah Camille Thompson engages with chaos through weaving. Environmental deterioration, tumultuous personal histories, and her identity are raw material in her practice. Her work recontextualizes detritus to signify the creative possibility in destruction—rebirth.

For Thompson’s exhibition Looming Chaos, the logomark and publication design treat the ancient symbol of the ouroboros as a departure point. Design elements spotlight the universality of catastrophic experience and echo the vibrant and varied materiality of Thompson’s work. The publication features artworks, sketches, studio images, and cosmic iconography, as well as essays, the artist in conversation, and poetry, for a holistic look at the artist’s practice.

A primordial identity

The ouroboros, a snake eating its tail, represents infinite cycles of destruction and creation. The hands in the mark are positioned as if working a loom. The custom sans-serif type and stacked typesetting suggest a loom’s warp and weft.

Weaving a practice into a publication

By design, Looming Chaos echoes the materiality and alchemical nature of Thompson’s work.

The red Swiss binding points to the book as a woven object. The holographic cover and endpapers suggest transmutation, and the overall color scheme echoes the exhibition.

Tipped-in, silver-foil prints of Thompson’s sketches represent ideas of works that were in the exhibition but yet to be completed at the time of publication.

Looming Chaos includes diverse layouts unified by type treatment and eco-mystical motifs. I created illustrations based on lunar cycles, alchemy, and tarot suits, as well as Thompson’s personal history—all major source material for her work.

The publication is an immersive, tactile experience of the artist’s practice.