Books have always been sacred to me. I can remember from a very young age my Mother reading to me or encouraging us to read. Reading has always been an adventure, a daydream, a way to escape or learn.
So many books are discarded or recycled now in favor of lighter digital versions. They are abandoned in boxes at garage sales or stacked up in lonely piles at thrift stores. I have no aversions to e-readers, I have one myself. I enjoy the freedom and convenience of having thousands of books at my fingertips, able to escape at a moment’s notice. But I still love the smell and feel of a book in hand. There is something comforting and familiar in the sound of a page turning.
I get such a thrill searching for and rescuing books. So far one of the best places to find a variety of interesting books is the monthly library book sales. A lot of the time you can fill a whole bag with books for $5.00. Now most people go to find things to read, current fiction, etc. but they always have a few boxes of strange old books with sturdy covers and well worn pages that are just waiting for me.
My love of reading has naturally evolved into creating art from old, discarded or unloved books. For many years I have dabbled in book art, using pages in mixed media pieces or folding books to make free form sculptures. This past year or so though I have really been focusing on creating artwork with discarded old books; creating a variety of sculptures that sometimes include encaustic wax, inks, and other natural elements. I have been making books the focal point of my artwork rather than just an element. I give these abandoned friends a new life, a second chance to shine and impact someone. Every once in a while there is a book that’s subject begs to be interpreted, but most of the time I try not to let the title or text influence my creation.
Below is a new piece entitled Flying Book Family
. It was inspired by a wonderfully magic short animation titled The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
. Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story.
Flying Book Family
Book Sculpture 2014
Flying Book Family - Detail of baby books
Book Sculpture 2014