For most of us, the value of a book is in its text. But book artists like Jacqueline Rush Lee see much more than just words on a page – to them, books are a highly unusual, mostly untapped man-made medium that convey a sense of delicacy and history. In Lee’s case, reclaimed used books take on an organic feel as they’re expertly shaped into blooming flowers, abstract spheres and other eye-catching shapes.
Lee has worked with books as her primary medium for over 12 years, and specifically seeks books that have been loved and handled in the hopes of preserving and enhancing these qualities even as she dramatically transforms their physical forms.
“For almost a decade I have found myself drawn to the intimate, tactile, and symbolic qualities of used books,” Lee states on her website. “I am interested in how these recycled books come with their own histories of use and meaning and how they serve as potent vehicles of expression.”
“With the idea of working with them as my canvas or building block, I transform the books into sculptures that explore and redefine the book as familiar object, medium, and archetypal form. By scrambling the formal arrangement of the book and transposing its material and conceptual qualities, I aim to create evocative art forms that suggest an alternative narrative.”