Tuesday, January 13, 2015

She's Crafty | Art Made From Books

During one of my internet researching frenzies I came across Art Made From Books compiled by Laura Heyenga. I saw the cover, which features a swirly mass of papers against an intensely black background, and had to find a copy to check it out.

I was able to find one held at a participating library system through Link+ and got to pick it up at my home branch. How cool is that?! Click right here to get a copy of your own...and believe me, you're going to want to click that link. During the short walk from customer service to a space where I could examine my new read my mind was completely blown.

Su Blackwell, The Book Of the Lost, 2011.

Art in progress.
As the subtitle suggests, this is a book that showcases art created by altering, sculpting, carving, and transforming books. This is not the art of book binding or typesetting a book for reading. This is art made from books that no longer function as their original selves once did, and the work is inspiring and beautiful, thought-provoking and exciting.

Rarely have I flipped through a book of art and loved so many works as I do from Art Made From Books. However, surprised I am not. We are talking about art and books in one. Since I can't share them all, here are just a few highlights:

Guy Laramée carves and sculpts absolutely stunning landscapes from books.

Guy Laramée, El amor por las Montaña nos cura, 2012.

The close-up above right shows the realistic details of his carvings. In fact, if I had seen this picture alone I would have thought the crags and vegetation belonged to an actual mountainside.

Seen in their entirety, Guy Laramée's pieces are quietly surreal. His transitions from landscape to book are done is such a way that it looks like they came to be by natural processes, as if the book eroded over time into the fantastical landscapes they contain inside. 

Guy Laramée, Prajna Paramita, 2011.

A book artist took Edinburgh, Scotland by surprise in 2011 by leaving ten book sculptures at various locations all while remaining Anonymous. Accompanying each whimsical piece was a unique tag with a lovely statement that matched the location the sculpture was left and the subject of the piece. Anonymous also sought to support the literary locations the items were left by referring to a Twitter feed owned by the location. The tag below also carries the following message, "in support of libraries, books, words and ideas..."

@byleaveswelive, 2011. Left at the Scottish Poetry Library.

Jeremy May makes wearable art excavated from the pages of books. Form and design is influenced by the content of the book a piece is made and each piece is presented within the book from which it was extracted.

Jeremy May, Serial no. 028--Vanity Fair, 2009.

Su Blackwell is known for creating scenes that are magical and enchanting. The detail of The Baron in the Trees below shows not only a tree made from book pages but a lit treehouse and tiny little clothes hanging on a line to dry.

Su Blackwell, Detail of The Baron in the Trees, 2011.

Give Art Made From Books a try and see what magic can be made from what we already know to be incredibly special.


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