Altered Books by Vicki Milewski

I have made altered books since I was young.  First my curiosity about how books are made drove me to disassemble many old books we had, investigating different types of bindings and pagination.  I then started to recreate the small books I made which contained my short stories and poetry.  I would make elaborate constructions that I felt could be a different way of reading and understanding a book.  I continue this work today and see these altered books as a new way of reading and also another life for the texts I recreate.  I primarily work with books I have written which have been published since I no longer can bring myself to take apart someone else's book.

I've started a separate website to organize the artist books and altered books I've made.  Click below to be taken there:

Selected altered books click on the titles to be taken to more images.

This photo shows the altered book as a whole.  The main flower image has four stems which anchor it to parts of the text that tell of an experience in the Place Between Two Rocks when a plant told her about the true medicine or living your life.

Life is Not to Be Lived On the Surface Alone Part 2

The original poetry chapbook that has become Part 1 dealt with understanding our family’s farm in central Wisconsin.  I had sought refuge on the farm after losing my husband and found the cycles of planting, tending and harvesting rejuvenating and uplifting.

The original poetry chapbook was written during my time teaching high school in Chicago’s inner city Du Sable High School.  I wrote poems about certain students and situations I found myself in that had a paralyzing effect. 

With the Harvest, Do Life and Love

The original poetry chapbook was titled With the Harvest Do Life, when I chose to alter this book into a 3 dimensional altered book artwork I added the idea of love since it is love that causes me to create art, sustains my life and practice and pushes me to be a better person.