Barbara Wildenboer (previously) delicately cuts and extracts the pages of old books to produce sculptural explorations of the contents inside. Thinly sliced paper fragments frame world maps found in old atlases or appear like a nervous system in an altered copy of Functional Neuroanatomy. The works are part of an ongoing project titled the Library of the Infinitesimally Small and Unimaginable Large, to which she has been contributing altered books since 2011. The series uses the site of the library as a metaphor for the larger universe, while also focusing on the decrease of printed materials as a result of the digital age.
“Through the act of altering books and other paper based objects the intention is to draw emphasis to our understanding of history as mediated through text or language and our understanding of the abstract terms of science through metaphor,” Wildenboer explains on her website.
The Cape Town-based artist sources her books and maps from secondhand bookshops and flea markets from around the world, looking specifically for publications that have illustrations, paper quality, and subject matter that might be interesting to slice and transform. This November she will open a solo exhibition at Everard Read Gallery in Johannesburg which will be followed by another solo exhibition in March 2019 at the their London location. You can see more of her paper-based sculptures and collages on her website and Instagram.