Kris Kelley Studios
artist : freelance photographer

artist books

artist books

Artists' books are works of art that utilize the form of the book. They are often published in small editions, though they are sometimes produced as one-of-a-kind objects. Each of the books on this page are handmade by Kris Kelley. 

Sign of the cross

This book depicts each gesture of the Sign of the Cross often performed by Catholics by tracing of an upright cross or + across the body with the right hand, often accompanied by spoken or mental recitation of the trinitarian formula: "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost, [one God]. Amen. Each gesture is traced onto vellum and inlaid into a folded book structure. When layered, the traced gestures reveal the cross. 


Silent Room

This is a handmade book composed of imagery and narratives by twelve different artists. The book contains a spread co-authored by Jess Kelley-Madera and myself. The text is a poem that was written by pairing sentences written by each of us, individually, based on specific word selections. The text is as follows: 

"Every story has two sides, you know. And the pen is mightier than the sword, it's true.

I feel expanded as if the walls of my mind have once again moved further apart, allowing thought to flow like a raging river through my synapses. Like the seeds of a kiwi, my consciousness radiates outward into a million facets.

It was an odd season, a season of knowledge, a season of ignorance. I thought of our first ride together on this path, her on the back of the bike and me in the front.

She had pulled my hair back into a braid so I could see, and we rode together happily through the shadows and sunspots alike.

This would be a promising start to the search, as sight of her has been lost for some time, as nevertheless she would often frequent such places.

The canary, singing in the deepest and darkest places, is hope. That such a fragile, beautiful thing stills survives promises the same for me.

There was an abandoned building amidst the field where we played. A relic, who’s wood and stone was slowly reclaimed by nature, as trees and plants grew through the cracks, compromising its structure.

Like buildings, families too, can decay.

We had been wandering these vast and beautiful woods for hours. We could run through those mangroves and they’d never get through with the horses.

After that, I didn’t know. I felt a bead of sweat run down my stomach. After a minute I said, “what do you want with my sister?”

I remember when my sister told me “Take this sinking ship and point it towards home. We’ve still got time.”

And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking. Then the tide will sound, the wind will pound. And the night will be breaking.

You see, a rock hesitates to budge from its resting place but once moved will roll easily to its intended position.

I stayed quiet until I was sure no one was going anywhere until I said something. Then I said, “fire.”


This book was made by binding 120 pieces of 3 x 5 pages together using the perfect binding method. The pages contain a variety of magazine clippings, trimmed postcards, photographic prints, laser copies, book excerpts and sheet music. The cover has an original drawing by me.