There Are Many Ways To Illustrate Books, But None So Breathtaking As These

By goneviral

Artist Su Blackwell illustrates books. That might not sound very unusual, but Blackwell’s illustrations turn books into detailed, haunting scenes — quite literally. That’s because the art she creates is made using the books themselves, the pages cut, folded, and pasted into intricate, three-dimensional scenes that capture not only the narrative, but the feeling of the books.

To Kill A Mockingbird, 2015

To Kill A mockingbird (detail), 2015

Using strategically placed lighting, the scenes glow with inner light that’s at once warm and lonely. Blackwell is drawn to solitary places, like the forests, coastlines, and isolated houses that make up so many folklore and fairy tale stories. She uses minimal color to emphasize certain items, but for the most part, the images keep the black and white print pattern, with shape and texture identifying them. Wires hold up some pieces, making them appear to float in midair.

The Stork Wife, 2014

Treasure Island, 2013

The Little Prince, 2012

Red Riding Hood, 2010

If her work seems a bit unsettling, it’s because Blackwell intends for it to be so, and strives to capture the full range of emotion covered by the stories. “I tend to lean towards young girl characters, placing them in haunting, fragile settings, expressing the vulnerability of childhood, while also conveying a sense of childhood anxiety and wonder,” she explains. “There is a quiet melancholy in the work, depicted in the material used, and choice of subtle color.”

The Last Unicorn, 2012

The Master and Margarita, 2014

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, 2014

The Dark is Rising, 2014

Wild Flowers of the British Isles, 2013

Some of them, like this book on wild flowers, are less emotionally complex and more a celebration of color and form.

As is always the case when artists carve up books, some people might think it’s a waste of readable material. However, most of the books that Blackwell uses are second-hand, out-of-date printings, hardly rare or collector’s items. She reads each book, sometimes twice, in order to correctly capture it in sculpture. She also uses the destruction of the books as a way of making a point. “I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions,” she says.

Matilda, 2014

The Ice Maiden, 2014

(via My Modern Met)

You can see more of Blackwell’s artwork, including non-literary works, on her website, where you can also purchase prints of her work.

Article Source: Viralnova

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