December 15, 2015

Book Sculpture (Part II)

        Here are some more sculptures that use books in a different way.  In this first one, Jodi Harvey-Brown has used the book as a frame rather than a stage, so it could be hung on the wall.    The dove is not contained in the frame, but hovers in front of it.  In the second piece, the book has become a sort of plaque, and the butterflies have flown even farther from the pages.  Harvey-Brown has also added color to the cut paper instead of leaving it the black and white of the text.  It’s simpler than many of the others, with larger areas, fewer tiny details - simpler than most of Harvey’s other work, too - but I think that makes it look more like paper and the pages of books.  If the paper were too chopped up or smushed into papier maché it would be farther removed from its bookish roots.
        On the other hand, Guy Laramée uses books as if they were simply blocks of wood or stone and not anything readable at all, and yet his sculptures delight me, too.  He doesn’t fold paper, or build up shapes from pages, and there’s no text visible
anywhere.  I love the idea of burrowing into the books, spelunking in books, tunneling deep and discovering hidden landscapes.  Many of Laramée’s sculptures are pretty big because they aren’t built from single books but from entire shelves of books.  I don’t know whether they all represent real places, but some of them certainly do, and I’m particularly excited about a Petra carved from books - two great tastes that taste great together!
        Having gone on a search for book art, I kept finding more and more cool stuff, so I have one more installment for you, coming next week.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, whether or not you love your Kindle or e-reader, take a moment to consider the magic of physical books as objects.  Perhaps it’s mere nostalgia, but it’s hard not to love the beauty of printed words bound together on paper.

[Pictures: Peace on Earth, book sculpture by Jodi Harvey-Brown (Image from Harvey’s Etsy shop WetCanvasArt); 
for Morphée Jewelry, book sculpture by Harvey-Brown (Image from;
from The Great Wall series, book sculpture by Guy Laramée;
Book People(?) from Biblios series, book sculpture by Laramée;
Petra from Biblios series, book sculpture by Laramée (Images from]

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