inscript: altered books bärbel ullrich  
Artist's Statement
Concepts explored in my altered books:
  • Concept of recycling – transforming old used books into artworks. The paper from some of these books would have come from rainforest trees – now rare or extinct.

  • Book as object – the books are physical objects that the viewer can touch and interact with. They are also sculptural objects.

  • Idea of palimpsest – layering, text and images overwriting old text and images. Layers from the original coming through creating interesting layers of surface quality.

  • Concept of text⁄title – The author and the title of the books are acknowledged but at the same time the text/context of the work is deconstructed to include new levels of meaning. The title of the book may suggest a theme or an idea so that the artwork can tell a different story to the original text or is a parody of the title. Words or paragraphs in the book can be used to evoke new images. The book is used to create new juxtapositions of meaning, image and surface where the original text is visible in part through the new alterations. Additional text or writing can be included.

  • Concept of transformation – using a ‘ready made’ object to create a new work. Using the book to explore new images and ideas.

  • Idea of journal or journey – a record of ideas and images over time. Books are very portable and can travel with you. A journey through the book for the viewer.

  • Concept of history – the book has been handled in the past by other people, passed down or bought and sold. Books contain this element of trace or memory usually by written inscriptions, stamps and the aging of the cover and paper.

  • Idea of containment – many images and ideas contained in a small space. Personal, private, tactile.