Selected Works > Sweet Sorrow

This is Your Life
Adhesive from deaccessioned library book on rag paper.
2016
Sweet Sorrow (Study in black)
Adhesive from deaccessioned library book on rag paper.
2016
Sweet Sorrow
Adhesive from deaccessioned library book on rag paper.
Variable.
2016

I purchased 12 boxes of discarded books once belonging to the State Library of WA at the Book Bazaar, in Shenton Park (Perth). I wondered what it might mean to inherit a tiny slice of the burden that spilt out of sheds and over tables and onto floors. I stacked them into my car and piled them high around me in my studio.

I wondered what I could be a fitting punctuation to mark the end their institutional years. I decided to unpeel the adhesive covering from each book, one after the other, over a number of weeks.

! !! !!! !!!! !!!!! ... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This process revealed that which remained largely invisible on the book: smears, dirt, finger prints, nicks and breaks - evidence of handling and travel. Books with embossed covers retained traces of their title and author; echoes.

I have since reintroduced these books, unpeeled and slightly sticky, back into circulation via my local Vinnie's donation bin. Their slight stickiness ensures they will retain marks more information of the hands and shelves and dust that they come into contact with.

Perhaps I will come across one, some time in the future. Perhaps when I do, I will formally return it using the returns chute at the WA State Library. I will write a small note inside the cover: I am back, after a short holiday abroad.