Artist Su Blackwell utilizes beloved novels as an uncommon canvas and builds upward to create bewitching book sculptures. For her latest standout exhibition, she was inspired by how one’s dwelling can act as an imaginative space. “The works include dwellings, such as lighthouses, wood cottages, tree-huts and houses, which appear to be inhabited as often they are lit up, but the scenes I have created are stark and the houses often solitary,” Blackwell says. “I have been inspired by water, by lakes, and the sea. There is a sense that one needs to take a journey to travel to these dwellings.”
When carving this literary series, Blackwell used the actual books as a source of inspiration. “I always read the book first, at least once or twice, and then I begin to create the work, cutting out, adding details,” she continued. “The detail is what brings it all together, the magic element. It is a tediously slow process.” While this is a time-consuming technique, it does give Blackwell’s work a vital amount of depth. It may seem as though the artist is simply producing visual sculptures, but she’s actually creating a miniature world that revolves around time-honored stories. In doing so, Blackwell perfectly evokes a sense of childlike wonder within her illuminative works of art.
To view these intricate pieces in person, you can visit Long & Ryle Gallery from September 17th to October 9th.
Above: To Kill a Mockingbird
Field Guide to Wild Flowers (XI)
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage
The Jungle Book
The House in the Oak Tree
The Snow Goose
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Dark is Rising
The Stork Wife
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Su Blackwell.