I started knitting bookshelves in 2014 after I made BOOKSHELF, a collection of reviews of the books on my shelves. The first knitted bookshelves were based on those books. From there, I started making pieces based on the bookshelves kept by other people.
The bookshelves are sort of portraits, not accurate of course, but a snapshot of what informs particular people. Our bookshelves say a lot about us, but they also contain red herrings- books that were gifts, books bought on a whim long ago, books never read, books outgrown.
In 2019, my exhibition “Libraries” opened at Gavlak in Los Angeles. The bookshelves on view belong to people with narrow fields of study. The books these works were based on are kept in quasi-public locations. Three of the libraries are in academic offices, a fourth is in an art gallery, and a fifth is in a yoga studio. The books inform visitors to these places about commitment, intellectual investment, and depth of inquiry. They also show personality, quirkiness, and a person’s ideological history.
The books are stripped of their original graphic design, size, and color, remade into flat knitted rectangles with handwritten or occasionally typeset titles.
These works are made at a time when the digital book can conceal one's personal library from prying eyes.
My grandmother, for the record, does not actually have vases on her bookshelves.