Norah Maki '09 returns to Bowdoin today to give a lecture on her collections of prints, "May I Trespass on Your Valuable Space," which are being displayed in the Fishbowl Gallery on the first floor of the Visual Arts Center.

This past fall Maki finished her work at the James Joyce Foundation in Zurich. She is a 2010 James Joyce Scholar, and her collection is based on Joyce's novel, "Ulysses."

After taking Professor of English Marilyn Reizbaum's seminar on Joyce, which Maki said, "was a fantastic course," she began work on her prints. While at Bowdoin she majored in visual arts and minored in English.

"'Ulysses' is so skillfully written and so funny, and being so deeply immersed in it prompted me to print little excerpts on postcards to send to friends," said Maki. She also created posters that she hung around campus.

Maki created her first few prints by working with just the text and by experimenting with letterpress printing. After a while she started incorporating imagery into the prints.

It took Maki about two years to produce her prints. By last fall most of them were completed. Maki experimented with various processes but primarily the prints are copper etchings and woodcuts with letterpress. Her original goal in producing the prints was accessibility. The prints were her way of sharing her "new-found love of the book."

"To provide a way into a book that I think everyone should—and can—read," added Maki.

Each print in the series corresponds to one chapter of "Ulysses."

Maki said that "Ulysses" presents "an odyssey of the everyman" by using "both empathy and wit."

During her talk she "will focus on this body of work and how it relates to the text and to a larger context of representation, semiotics and humor."

The talk will provide a non-traditional way to delve into "Ulysses." The prints "are an attempted continuation of Joyce's linguistic exercises, intending to alter the time frame in the same way he intended to alter the pace at which people read," said Maki.

By interpreting "Ulysses," Maki "raises the question of what it means to 'represent' another person's creative work," as well as "the challenge of successfully transferring its definitive characteristics to a new medium."

Maki's collection exhibits an intimate and accessible way of relating to 'a text,' which has largely been obfuscated by a realm of academia."

Her talk is greatly anticipated and is one of the many events of The Ulysses Project, a semester-long extravaganza. Organized by Reizbaum, the Ulysses Project pays tribute to and celebrates Joyce's "Ulysses."

The Ulysses Project is sponsored by the College and underwritten by the Alpha Delta Phi Literary Fund. Maki's talk is sponsored by the English department and the visual arts department.

It will take place today at 4:30 p.m. in the Beam Classroom in the Visual Arts Center.

It is free and open to the public. Maki's work will be exhibited until April 15.