Paper Boats

Visual Art

Lyall Harris & Patricia Silva

An Artists’ Book by Patricia Silva & Lyall Harris

This photo-documentary illustrates our common humanity and the distressing loss of identity taking place in contemporary mass immigration to Europe. Central to this book is its potent visual rhythm of 100 images of hands holding origami boats, interspersed with 26 quotes (some in Italian) and 10 portraits. With the help of volunteer participants, Patricia Silva and Lyall Harris developed this artists’ book in 2016 in a collaborative exchange while working as ex-pats in Italy. That year, an estimated one million refugees arrived by boat to Europe, with Sicily as a principal entry point. Silva and Harris have been collaborators in the field of book art since 2014.

  • We are all refugees
  • Mug Shot
  • Mug Shot
  • We are all brothers
  • Pages
  • Pages
  • Boat
  • Boat
  • Boat
  • Boat
  • Boat
  • Boat
About the Author
Lyall Harris & Patricia Silva

Lyall Harris & Patricia Silva

Book artists Lyall Harris and Patricia Silva have collaborated since 2014 making artists’ books, bookworks, sculpture and installation that cover a range of topics, including the challenges of motherhood, notions of leaving and loss, issues of identity, and the fraught reality of contemporary immigration, keenly felt in Italy. Their work has been widely exhibited in the United States and in Italy and is held in numerous Special Collection libraries at such institutions as UCLA, UCSC, Vanderbilt, Swarthmore, Carnegie Mellon, and Duke, among others. Paper Boats is a photo-documentary that explores our common humanity and the distressing loss of identity taking place in contemporary mass immigration to Europe. lyallharris.com/collaborations