In 2010 I began making an artist’s book for An Inventory Of Al-Mutanabbi Street.
I don’t think we need books that are about war and peace in a general way, we need books that say to people Come And See what happened here…How do you create a book that is a lament and a celebration of the idea of books, at the same time? How do you take what is essentially a personal and interior art and use it to make a social statement in very public venues?
Beau Beausoleil, 2011
Progress was slow because I wanted to make a pop-up book. A joyous explosion of paper flowers. A new beginning. Many, many exercises in paper engineering later – I realised I had it all wrong.
Art-making is personal. It is as much about the state of mind of the artist as the physical thing being made. I began this project seeing the potential for a fresh beginning, like flowers blooming after a drought. Then, autoimmune, my body began to attack itself. I looked the same on the outside but my mind became a dark place. In 2011 I stopped, thought again and started over.
My Altered book for Al Mutanabbi St is about the emptiness of destruction and the inner void of depression. It is about not judging a book by its cover.
Altered book for Al Mutanabbi St
23cm x 15cm x 4.5cm
Book, bookboard and cloth with acrylic paint