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Secrets Altered Book

Cindy Tonkin - April 20, 2023

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while. Nicola gave it to me, the book wasn’t interesting enough to read, and it was a pleasant reading size and shape.

I worked on it for more than a month, because i was travelling a lot.

When i pulled it out to work on in Adelaide while at the Fringe Festival I found it quite alienating – the book kept wanting to close itself.

I had taken with me a few plastic bags and envelopes full of the ephemera I was going to do “something” with – stamps feature quite a lot.

Over the period of working with the book I worked out that I could of course use fold back clips to open up the pages, and you’ll see i photographed each page by anchoring them with rocks.

I took out more than half of the book, just ripped out the pages, and towards the end i used my Gansai Tambi watercolour paints along with some colourless wax crayons to make patchwork quilts etc on the pages I didn’t want to remove (because they had some collage on the other side).

Unlike my usual altered books I didn’t cut out any see-through bits (why not? just didn’t).

What I learnt:

  1. Altering a book is much easier if it will sit flat on the table (most of the ones I’ve done to date have done this)
  2. Stamps are hard for me to work with, but not impossible.

Here is the video

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