Exceptional New Life for Discarded Objects

Earlier this month an exhibit by artist Kylie Stillman (book art and paper carvings previously featured here) opened at Town Hall Gallery in Boroondara, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Kylie Stillman: Not fully or properly either of two things includes work drawn from the past twenty years, as well as new sculptural pieces and sewn paper drawings, all with an engagement to nature.

artist with frame filled with paperback books with hand carved design of migrating birds
Verso, hand carved books

Pictured here with Verso, Kylie explains that it is a new scalpel-carved work created from more than two hundred books sourced from the Boroondara Library Service’s deaccessioned book collection. She studied painting at RMIT University in Melbourne, but found she prefers the challenge of transforming discarded materials by hand.

hand-beaded frottage with honeycomb design in frame
Hexagonal Tessellation, stitched beads on paper

From the Town Hall Gallery media release: For this exhibition, Kylie draws on the sewing and garment construction skills she learnt at a young age. Stillman's practice explores what it means to show three dimensional forms on a two-dimensional plane. 

stack of old hardcover books on wooden base with hand carved potted plant design cut across open edges

Making use of overlooked and discarded objects, Stillman presents everyday materials including sheets of plywood, aluminum window furnishings, furniture and books, reworking them by hand to prompt new interpretations and meaning.

circular design stitched on stacked old books arranged on ladder and sawhorse
Ladder, stitched design on retired books

Note that not all of the works included in this post are shown in this particular exhibit... instead, I mainly gathered images of her book art and stitched pieces... this is All Things Paper, after all.

 horizontal tree branch carved across stacks of paperback books displayed on sawhorses
Local Branch, carved book art

One beautiful exception is Park Views, an installation of a set of four Venetian blinds with thousands of pierced holes that allow the light to pass through onto the walls and floors of the exhibition space.

framed pierced hole tree design on Venetian blind allows light to shine through
Park Views, drilled designs on Venetian blinds

detail of drilled holes tree design on Venetian blind
Park Views - detail

Kylie's exhibit runs through Sunday, August 30, 2020. At the present time, the gallery cannot be visited in person as Covid-19 Stage 3 restrictions have been reinstituted across Melbourne. However, one bright spot in this pandemic... all of us can enjoy an armchair view of the entire display via Boroondara's online exhibition, not to mention we can listen to Kylie describe it personally via this short video:

grasses design cut into stacked paperback books on wooden base
Big Picture, negative space grasses in stacked books

More information via Kylie Stillman's website and see her newest art on Instagram, @kylie.stillman

All Things Paper is an AWIN (Etsy) affiliate.

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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