Monday, March 28, 2011
When is a Book not a Book?
How about books?
I know a couple of people who wouldn't ever consider dismantling a book! Books are for reading and shelving. Books are treasured tomes to be handed down from generation to generation. Books are....
Well, sometimes books look like this (by the way, you can actually purchase book parts from Manto Fev and The Paper Flea Market!).
Now, before you think that I'm an unfeeling, reckless artist who would destroy anything if it meant having the perfect item to use in a collage - you're half right. I will use anything, as long as it's freely available and not sentimentally tearing someone apart.
Here's a great example - the annual AAUW book sale. This year the Fond du Lac chapter of AAUW (American Association of University Women) held its 50th annual book sale at our fairgrounds. It's a huge event every year and I always wind up donating two ways: by cleaning out my shelves of used books AND by purchasing books at the sale. I got some doozies this year, including some fantastic vintage foreign books (above) and of course, more vintage magazines (as you can see from the photo, they're falling apart).
Will I, at some point, cut these babies up? Absolutely. The way I look at at it, I'm giving these books a new lease on life. What good are they sitting in someone's mildewy basement, or worse - being tossed in the trash if they're not sold? I prefer the sunnier outlook of book rescue - saving them from book purgatory.
I am a founding member of Fond du Lac Visual Arts and our very first themed show is entitled, "Cover to Cover", which will run from April 7-29 at our local library. It's all about handmade books, altered books, and art (both 2D and 3D) made from book parts. I am very excited about this exhibit and we've got over 25 books so far that will be displayed! I have two entries, one of which is shown here:
I used a deep Hardbord canvas backward for the "classroom" and an old book cover for the roof. For the "walls" I used bits of old schoolbooks and learning guides. The tiny desk is from a Japanese company called Rement. I'm keeping the other piece under wraps until a later date (you'll find out why later - it's a surprise!).
Books and book pages have been used in so many of my ATCs, too - I think of it as a tribute rather than destruction. :D