11033 is the artist’s meditation on the feelings and experiences of Mary Morst, a black woman in the Virginia State Penitentiary in 1921. Imprisoned behind the black bars of the book’s cover, 11033 centers Mary’s complex life and shares her story as an imprisoned murderer and the mother of twin children born ‘behind bars.’ This sculptural artist’s book incorporates embedded copies of archival documents, including newspaper clippings, letters, and pardon applications alongside a fictional text woven poetically throughout the historical narrative. 

The inspiration for this project grew from IBe’ Crawley’s research into the untold stories of women and girls impacted by oppressive Virginia laws and continued enslavement. Unlike most black women and girls, Mary Morst’s story is recorded because of her relationship to the penal system. IBe’ Crawley conducted research at Virginia State Library, where all the prison records for Morst are publically available. 

11033 is constructed using handmade flax and abaca paper, with shaped pages that present the silhouette of a pregnant body. The textblock incorporates a central clay figure providing structural support for the book to stand upright, mirroring the enclosure of a prison cell.

For purchase inquiries, please contact Artistic Director Erin Zona at [email protected] or 845-658-9133

Out of print.