Welcome to the blog for the "BY THE BOOK: Creative interactions with literature" show.

This is the place to find more information about those special items you've discovered tucked in the pages of select books in the Port Moody Library. Please feel free to leave your comments and if you are inspired visit the "Participants" link on the show website and find out how to register your own creations!

If you have found something you may keep it and we suggest that you make a small donation to the library in return.

If you would like to suggest a book, book / book art related website, or comment about the show in general please email pmlbtb@gmail.com and your message will be posted on this blog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - Nathania Vishnevsky Artist

Lush writing, biology, drama, gender identity, and history - what's not to love!?
This is one of my top recommended reads - in fact I actually saved the original short story from "The New Yorker" and was wondering why the book seemed so familiar until I rediscovered the clipping. Read it, really.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If you love a book set it free

Here are some interesting art / social projects with books let loose into the world:

A journal project which tracks both personal and multi artist/author journals which are either left in a specific location or travel - it's called 1001 Journals but they now have over 2000 in their database and a show at SFMOMA.

bookcrossing.com is a project that tracks books set loose in locations all around the world - none currently in Port Moody but a few have been released in Coquitlam within the past 2 weeks. Set a book free and check the website to see where it ends up!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pulp - by Fae Logie

"Pulp" planted in “Last Stands: a journey through North America’s vanishing ancient rainforests”, by Larry Pynn

Image of wood grain on recycled toilet paper made from a wood block print with water-based pigment.

Imagining nature as culturally articulated through a correspondence of dwelling and landscape, specifically the forest or woodlot, has been a recent focus of my art practice. I am interested in how forest imagery can evoke deep feelings of emotional attachment or abandon to nature and, perhaps, determine how much we care. Through series of sculptural installations incorporating objects, drawing, photography and video, I have been exploring correspondences between historical and contemporary attitudes and uses of the land and thereby engage the viewer in multiple constructs of nature. Written text, including poetry and local histories, postcards and historical photography have been my reflective starting points. These speak of landscapes with signs of human presence, either human beings figuratively or as evidence of living in the land (dwellings, shelters, fences, roads and paths).

Whether by fire or cutting, the deliberate removal of trees is one of the most longstanding and significant ways in which humans have modified the environment. 'Pulp' is an reminder of how we utilize forest products in our day to day lives without considering the impact.

-Fae Logie

Friday, October 10, 2008

Odd Find

I found a newspaper clipping in one of my old dictionaries while working on this show. I know I picked it up used but I don't remember where. I had something similar happen to me in university, which was part of the inspiration for BY THE BOOK. I found a book in the library that was at least 50 years old, and then discovered a letter inside that was 20 years old. It started me wondering what the receiver was like, why they were interested in the same book as I and if anyone else had even cracked open that book in the years between! The hidden relationship of readers.

One of the participating artists mentioned to me that she remembered the old checkout cards from school libraries - she said she had about a 70% common reading interest with another girl.

Anyways - this one has really got me wondering - who clipped it and why would they want to remember such an event. Maybe they were an author hunting for an extreme event - stranger than fiction. Also why was it tucked between these two pages. Anyway it's sad and gross and here it is, right between informal and inmost in a copy of "The Merriam-Webster Dictionary" published 1977:

Artist Info - Wendy Anderson

Dear Nathania,

Well, as you probably figured out, my book started out as Red Rabbit (by Tom Clancy), which hasn't much to do with actual rabbits, and then it morphed into a book about colours. As a Visual artist, I love colour and I wanted to explore it using many different mediums. The cover fabric I found reminds me of the "DoodleArt" posters I did as a kid. many years ago (they were "colour it yourself" posters).
My favourite page of Red Rabbit is "Yellow."

I teach with Learning Through the Arts in this school district and presently am creating altered books on Extreme Environments, at Port Moody Middle school with gr. 6,7's. My teenage daughter Kim-whose book is also in the show-started her book while a volunteer at Evergreen's arts camp this past summer (where I also teach), as I did altered board books with kids there. She tells me she likes collage more, while I like to use more painterly approaches.

I first saw an Altered book during the annual "Emerging talent "exhibition at Evergreen's Art Gallery, since then I have been looking at books on altered art, websites and experimenting with the idea ever since.
This is a new artform for Kim and I, one we are still learning about and so far, enjoying the journey.

Wendy Anderson

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jump on in

Want to learn more about book arts or interested in making an altered book yourself?

Here are some links to get you started:
Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG)
International Society of Altered Book Artists (ISABA)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Ink on watercolor paper.

It seems like any book can be banned or censored by someone for any kind of reason, but of course the traditional text oppressors tend to be totalitarian governments and religious extremists of all stripes. On the up side this demonstrates that the written word still holds power, even in this "post-literate" world!

These bookmarks went into the following books, of which I'm happy to say I've read many:

The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Animal Farm - George Orwell
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
Burger's Daughter - Nadine Gordimer
Candide - Voltaire
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
Doctor Zhivago - Boris Pasternak
Areopagitica - John Milton
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller - funny note: the library seems to have the same printing as the one I read in university after seeing a movie about Anaïs Nin.
Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie - unfunny note: author under death threat - one translator killed, one seriously injured, one publisher seriously injured, and 37 people killed in an attacked aimed at another translator. Seriously scary.

So read a banned book today and make a dictator or extremist sad!