Barnacle: an altered book

I like entering themed exhibitions. I enjoy the challenge of taking someone else’s concept and making it my own. Barnacle was created for a show entitled The Beast in You, organized by June Jacobs of The Handwave Gallery Meacham, Saskatchewan. Participants were asked “If you were an animal, what would you be?”

Barnacle is one of my earliest altered dictionary works. Unlike pieces where I have taken entire books and re-made them in a new form, I chose to use just the Synonym/Antonym pages from a 1947 copy of The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language. I wanted to represent the difference between the way I might be seen from the outside and the way I see myself.

The piece is housed in a box covered in a Japanese wave print and cotton rag paper.

The box measures 20.5 x 20.5 x 21.5 cm (8 x 8 x 8 3/8 in.) and forms a base for the work when it is displayed.

Wire, bits of the Japanese paper, and sections of peacock feather were used in addition to the dictionary pages. The lower portion is formed from Chinese money fold modular origami units.

The piece is accompanied by a short poem.

Hard on the outside,

soft on the inside,

you hold fast to your position


occasionally stick your neck out.

About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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4 Responses to Barnacle: an altered book

  1. Lestaret says:

    Lovely. Great concept and well executed.


  2. This barnacle is such a funny guy 🙂 And what a surprise it must be to open this rather traditional looking box and finding such a critter inside! – Full agree with Lestaret.


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