Su Blackwell Destroys Books, Creates Wonders

These amazing sculptures are the work of British artist Su Blackwell, who carefully dismembers books in order to create a visual interpretation of their contents.

Blackwell's sculptures are composed entirely from a single book — that is, she only uses the pages in the book itself to create her three-dimensional marvels. Blackwell says she searches second hand bookshops for the perfect book, and although her studio is crowded with hundreds of books, only a few will make the final cut. "The book has to resonate with me somehow, either in an illustration, or in part of the story. I need that spark of inspiration," she said in an interview with the Telegraph.

Blackwell has another requirement for her art: that the story within somehow correspond to the sculpture that springs forth. In her artist's statement, Blackwell writes:

It is the delicacy, the slight feeling of claustrophobia, as if these characters, the landscape have been trapped inside the book all this time and are now suddenly released. A number of the compositions have an urgency about them, the choices made for the cut-out people from the illustrations seem to lean towards people on their way somewhere, about to discover something, or perhaps escaping from something. And the landscapes speak of a bleak mystery, a rising, an awareness of the air.

In a sense, Blackwell's sculptures can be seen as an extension of the novel itself, an organic outpouring of the characters and scenes that have been "trapped" inside the pages. She admits to feeling slightly guilty about rendering the books unreadable, yet ultimately, the artistic gain outweighs what is lost:

"I began feeling guilty about cutting up the books but I had the integrity that I would create something magical from it. My reasoning is that half of the books have been sat on shelves for years anyway, or that they were about to be thrown away and destroyed forever."

Amazing Artworks Created From Old Books [Telegraph]
Su Blackwell [Official Site]