First Lines, is comprised of 1,740 small rectangles of handmade paper. On each Samuels has painted, drawn, collaged, and then hand-transcribed the first line of one of 1,740 books in her library. The 1,740 rectangles form a map of the world and a map of the books that have shaped her understanding of the world.
Each rectangle forming the bodies of water is hand-drawn with thin white wave-like lines that serve to shape the writing of the text in white. The landmasses are hand-colored etchings that are collaged and then written upon in shades of green.
Each of the 1,740 rectangles is numbered. Around the edge of the map is a border in shades of reds and magenta on which Samuels has written the title and author of the books that correspond to each of the numbered rectangles.
The very last first line is, Call me Ishmael.
Title: First Lines
Size: 96″ x 66″ x 2″ (w x h x d)
Materials: paper, ink
Photographed by: Thomas Little