Boys’ and Girls’ Bookshelf by Susan Collard - SOLD!


Altered book with removable girls’ and boys’ board books. Fir and basswood bookshelf inside original 1912 cover, housing two plywood accordion-fold books. “I tried to distill the original volume into a piece that hints, not at what I saw in the book, but at what I would have liked to see.”

Artist Statement       

I came to the world of artist books with a background in architecture and poetry. I had spent my twenties tacking back and forth uneasily between the two disciplines, and when I made my first books in 1991, it felt as though parallel paths had miraculously intersected. For me, making a book is not just a marriage of the visual and verbal: it’s lyrical expression without fear of the blank page, an experiment in form conducted at an obligingly small scale.   From the beginning, my artist books have always been collaged objects, a coming-together of disparate images and histories. I work from a trove of found materials—old books, salvaged lumber, cast-off hardware and the like. I’m interested in reworking familiar forms in unexpected materials, in seeing ordinary objects as sublime and surprising. To this end, the pages of my books aren’t usually made of paper. They’re more often wood, metal, and glass, materials which demand structural ingenuity and breathe life into a sculptural, kinetic form. I tend to think of the books as I was taught to think of buildings, as a shaped series of spaces, linked by movement and memory. They are less narrative than stageset, unfolding like the rooms of a cryptic, unfinished house.

Artist Bio

Susan Collard is a Portland architect and book artist, whose firm In-House Architecture specializes in residential remodeling and additions. She has exhibited her one-of-a-kind collaged and constructed books in many group shows, including several at 23 Sandy Gallery.