Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cutting up books! In the library! And it's OK!

1. N's altered book.

2. My altered book.

Most of the time the sound of scissors cutting paper is enough to send shivers of apprehension down the spines of library staff - so holding the "altered book" workshop in the library was a kind of pleasurable naughtiness for all concerned, especially me, the librarian, the preserver and keeper of books!

"Altered books" is a growing artform that sort of extended out of artists' books. The idea is that you take a book and alter it into something else - generally using arty tools like paint, collage etc. A great way to make a further use of those taxpayer-funded weeded ex-library books. Our teacher, Wolfie, actually managed to change a Mills and Boon romance into a fruit bat (inspired by the astonishing spectacle of thousands rising almost as one from the mangroves at dusk - a local attraction). My own effort was less ambitious but amazingly relaxing -I turned a children's story into a sort of inspirational piece of poetry by blacking out most of the words and just leaving a few enigmatic phrases on the page.

I thoroughly recommend it as a great extension activity for the library. It's a kind of devotional to books, honouring them and rebirthing them into something new.


  • I think the idea of "recycling" books into works of art is a fantasitcidea.Iam doing my librarianship at the moment and have done a Bachelor of Visual Arts so this idea really appeals to me for obvious reasons.KT

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:41 PM  

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