Guy Laramee has his hand in a little of everything. He has composed music, directed and wrote for the theatre, and designed musical instruments. He’s singer, a painter, and a sculptor, among other things. Personally, I know of him from his work carving old books into pieces of art.
Laramee sums up his artistic statement beautifully by stating:
“So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are. After 30 years of practice, the only thing I still wish my art to do is this: to project us into this thick ‘cloud of unknowing.'”
Most recently, Laramee took a twenty-four-volume set of a now discontinued Encyclopedia Britannica and turned it into a stunning mountain range. Here are two pictures of the entire sculpture:
And here are a few pictures showing more detail of the sculpture:
If these encyclopedias are no longer going to be used for their functionality, it is great to see someone take them, recycle their pages, and turn them into pieces of art for people to continue to enjoy. As Laramee says in his artist statement, these mountains erase everything we originally saw in or expected from these encyclopedias. The figurative mountains of knowledge they provided for their readers have now been made literal.
Here are a few more of my favorite of Laramee’s book sculptures:
If you want to see more, visit Guy Laramee’s website.