Some libraries die with their owners. Beloved book collections are abandoned at thrift shops, book swaps and flea markets. Let’s face it, when it comes to a great book, we are more inclined to purchase it new or download it, than to read a dusty old edition.
I’m drawn to the wear and tear on old books and the evidence that they’ve been read, passed around, and enjoyed. I’ve reclaimed thousands of vintage books and especially appreciate the bygone designs, colors and textures. The beautifully handwritten inscriptions are an art form all their own. I read a lot of great passages and notice sentences that people underline and entries they make in the margins. I find interesting artifacts, bookplates, bookstore labels and illustrations that lead me to people and places. It’s all stuff of art and I love getting lost in it.
I got inspired to reimagine unwanted books while visiting Sicily and resonating with an amazing collection of recovered floor tiles. See:
Out of that experience came my mosaics made with book cover cuttings. At first I adhered my pieces with contractor staples to evoke a “stitched” aesthetic, then somewhere along the line I made the switch to bookbinder glue. Eventually I became more interested in the scraps and marks made from my process. I compose the mosaics differently each time I exhibit - - sometimes I show them singly and other times I connect them to form a larger installation.