This Book Excavation was created using a book about the history of the Christian church titled Church of Our Fathers originally published in 1950. I fell in love with the unique red ochre illustrations that fill the book. Demons, crusaders, saints, apostles, Moses, Jesus, and other characters fill the pages. As I cut through the pages all these figures layered up into a condensed history of the church. The words Forever Know Me just happened to line up perfectly above the head of a man wielding a sword about to behead an enemy of the church.
Must see TV! Oregon Art Beat, a weekly arts program on Oregon Public Broadcasting, has a fascinating segment about James Allen and his book excavations. Great video showing the process behind his art, in an in-depth, accessible manner. Watch it here.
ABOUT BOOK EXCAVATIONS
A book excavation is a sculptural work of art made by transforming various types of old books using precise cuts with a scalpel or knife, carving pages one by one until an astonishing new composition reveals itself. This almost surgical focus of dissecting books results in a wholly new object infused with a graphical history that evolves as the artist exposes each layer of the book while cutting around interesting images or text. For most artists working in this remarkable medium, the process is performed without pre-planning or mapping out the contents before cutting into the books pages and/or covers. Finished book excavations often appear as cross sections of the book, carved to create an alternate universe previously hidden between the covers.
|Title||Forever Know Me|
|Place of Publication||Portland, OR|
|Medium/ Materials||Unique book excavation. Framed behind glass.|
|Dimensions (WxH) or (WxHxD)||Book: 9 x 6 x .75 inches. Frame: 11 x 14 inches|
|Signed and Numbered?||Signed on back of frame|