Few months ago I was invited to take part in a beautiful exhibition in Jaggedart, a small but great gallery in Marylebone, London that specializes in works on paper and book art.
The exhibition, On the same page focused on Artist’s Books and Alterations:
In a time when words and images seem to evaporate into the ether, this show brings together works of words on different styles of leaves. Some loose, some bound – from letters, maps, novels, packaging or specially printed – each work renders a tactile reality. Some small, like gems; some exploding beyond the pages, each work inspires a journey through the imagination.
I was so happy to be offered a spot on the show, and to share a space with fine artists such as Jeremy May and Victoria Browne, that I decided to create a new piece, together with a book alteration made some years ago.
I went to a second hand shop in Brick Lane that hides a treasure of used books in the basement and after a careful research I picked a volume that got immediately my attention: The Art of Angling, a fishing manual.
Like fishing, my alteration is a skill that requires precision, time, patience and some faith: you never really know how it is going to go until the end.
I drew an organic shape that I would follow to the bottom of the volume, cutting on a thin layer of polypropylene and adding half a millimeter to each cut. I wanted the shape to recall a lake bed, while the cuts had to be fluid and mobile, as if the alteration could transform the paper into a mass of water.
I made a short video to document my long and repetitive process:
The final step was to add the scale: a 1:200 miniature plastic figure that seems to be waiting for the right fish.