Artist Books by Children

February 19, 2011


Week 2 – 30 Participants

Total Landmarks Participants – 78

Location: Ardee Library, County Louth


As the children created their books, the art pieces portrayed their innermost thoughts and feelings” Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire National School, Ardee, Teacher (4/5th Class)

By simply folding paper into accordion and three dimensional shapes, many different “pages” emerge for art and writing. A variety of different art materials can be used to portray a child’s sense of nature – watercolour pastels, charcoal, oil pastels, ink stamps, photos, drawings, and samples of trees, grasses and flowers. The artist books were created by students visiting a number of different stations containing art materials. Through stamping, drawing, and collage the children worked in their own way, creating spontaneously to build up textures and assemble ideas. The small books were also an important expression of working within a library.

Collectively the folded books create a kind of landscape of images, which can be displayed within a classroom either on a table or on a wall. The artist books can then be collectively re-positioned into many different kinds of overall shapes. By turning the books around, different pictures are revealed, so that a rotating display can be achieved within the classroom.

In The Irish Times, Michael Viney has recently written about the importance of children’s engagement with nature as fuel for their imagination (February 5, 2011). By observing and feeling nature, children generate a sense of wonder about the natural world. It is this sense of wonder that in turn encourages a receptivity to the changing states of seasons, weather, and growth. “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth, find reserves of strength that will endure” (Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder). Artist books can map a child’s observations of nature, and document change. It is this contact with changing conditions that also reflects human nature. It is an opening to being in touch with a dynamic sensing of the world as ‘alive’. “It is not half so important to know as to feel” (Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder).

These are photos of folded books created by students of Scoil Mhuire na Trocaire and Ardee Educate Together National School.

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