Since the altered book project, I've become really interested in the artform and have been researching different artists and methods of alteration. One of my absolute favorite book sculptors I've come across is Su Blackwell.
Jorinde and Jorindel, Book Pages, 2010
Blackwell's work is predominantly in altering books, though she has some interesting works made from old nightgowns and curtains. Her works take a traditionally 2D medium (usually paper) and make it 3D. Sometimes the effect is subtle, such as in her piece, The Extasie, where the two figures are fairly flat, yet by standing up out of the book and by being placed at different sections of the pages, a sense of depth is created. Other times, she creates a true 3D sculpture using the book pages, such as in The Hazel Tree.
The Extasie, Book pages, 2006
Hazel Tree (from Aschputtel), Book pages, 2010
Many of her works depict fairy-tales or folk-tales. Often her characters are young girls, symbols of childhood innocence, vulnerability, and curiosity. The nature of her characters reflects Blackwell's medium. Her characters are delicate yet often set into precarious positions, dangerous, or at the very least, ominous. Similarly, books hold a precarious place in society. On a physical level, their pages too are delicate; they can be ripped, burned, written over. But more than that, the ideas they wish to communicate are fragile; easily are their words forgotten. When Blackwell cuts away at pages, she is simultaneously destroying and creating, which is an interesting concept. It is symbolic of the way changes in life or in thought essentially end one existence but give birth to another.