Usually, when we read, the story comes alive in our heads. UK-based artist Emma Taylor takes this experience to a new level in her incredible book sculptures. Using discarded texts, she crafts three-dimensional animals and objects from the pages. From ships that sprout from antique atlases to insects flying from animal guides, these carefully-modeled sculptures playfully interact with their original source.
Taylor spends countless hours finding materials for her art. In particular, upcycling old or abandoned books (typically from the early 20th century) is an integral part of her practice. “In my work, I give new life to old books by creating intricate sculptures which appear to emerge directly from the paper pages,” Taylor explains to My Modern Met. “The often minute details I create draw the viewer into each sculpture, as fine strips of text are transformed into rigging on a seafaring galleon, printed words become individual feathers shaping a bird’s wing or singular letters form the bricks of grand buildings.”
For Taylor, choosing the right book comes down to instinct. She says that certain texts inspire her immediately, while in other cases, she sometimes has to seek out a specific book for an idea she already has in mind. “Nature is an endless source of inspiration for me with trees in particular being a recurrent theme,” she adds. “Each tree I make references the origin of the paper itself as I transform the paper pages back into trunks and branches; also connecting the wisdom of ancient trees to the wisdom contained within many books.”
Scroll down to see some of Taylor’s fantastic book sculptures and check out more from her growing portfolio on her website.