“I’m a book sculptor.
I reimagine the form
and content of unloved
and unwanted books.”
In a few words, describe yourself and your practice.
I am a book sculptor. I reimagine the form and content of unloved and unwanted books.
When did you start your practice?
I began working with books in my final year at art school. I am still going 17 years later!
How does where you live affect your work?
I live in Melbourne, which is a very lively and colorful place. There are many tales which inform my work subconsciously.
Is your practice how you support yourself? If not, what else are you working on to do so?
I teach to pay my rent and also find other work to make it easier to get by. I do sell my work too!
What would you be doing if you weren't doing this?
Teaching English or working in a library.
HOW DO YOU START YOUR PROCESS?
I begin each of my pieces with an idea which relates directly to the book I have chosen. The various techniques I use will relate directly to the content of each book.
WHAT IS THE MOST USEFUL TIP YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
You are your art.
Personality is important.
Who (or what) inspires you?
Poetry, music, friends and the design and construction of books. Inspiration comes from the most peculiar places, and always leave yourself open to find it.
If you were to share one piece of advice with those who aspire to do what you do, what would it be?
Be firm and stick to your guns. Everyone has a voice. Be distinctive and yourself.
What are some challenges you're facing in your practice?
The market is very difficult to judge and predict. Make sure you have some money squirrelled away for a rainy day.
WHAT MAKES YOUR WORK UNIQUE?
No one I knew of was making anything with recycled books in 1997. The uniqueness of my work is changing as many people now make work with old books. I think that the precision and time my work takes makes it unique.
Are you comfortable sharing all aspects of your process?
I am always happy to show people how I go about making work. I routinely run workshops specializing in book alteration techniques and feel that teaching is a really crucial part of my practice.
How has your practice changed over time? Where do you see it going?
My practice has not changed very much since I first started, but I think that the intent is more focused and refined. I hope to see it grow and become more widely seen throughout the world.
HOW WOULD YOUR AUDIENCE DESCRIBE YOU?
My audience sees me as a book obsessed character who pursues beauty and quirk in equal qualities.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a few commissions for people and a series of small sculptures based on research from a recent study tour of Greece.