Discovering old books is like finding hidden treasure for many literary lovers. But for French artist Inès Mélia, they provide the perfect canvas for her art. She finds abandoned books on the streets of Paris and transforms them into charming tissue boxes. Through her series, titled Domestic Life, Mélia “question[s] the mundane with humor, and explore[s] how creativity can reveal the possibles in the real—oh too real.”
There’s something quite somber about previously loved books that have been kicked to the curb, but Mélia finds a meta solution to that sadness with her artistry. By turning “cult castoff books” into tissue boxes, the books themselves seem to mourn their own past lives. In a bid to give each novel a new lease on life, Mélia lovingly transforms them into works of art. The artist cuts out holes in their hard covers, and decorates them with seeds and other found elements.
Inside, the pages are replaced with a handkerchief that’s been embroidered with one of the book’s last sentences. For a book called Burns’ Poems, the handkerchief is hand-stitched with the words, “Oh my luve’s like a red, red rose.” And in another piece, Mélia includes a quote from the French version of Ernest Hemingway's Fifty Grand (Cinquante Mille Dollars).
Scroll down to check out Mélia’s handmade Tissue Books below and buy your own from her collection via her online shop.
French artist Inès Mélia finds abandoned books on the streets of Paris and transforms them into charming tissue boxes.
The books' pages are replaced with a handkerchief that’s been embroidered with one of its last sentences .
Inès Mélia: Instagram