|The Art of the Book
Sixth Annual Exhibition of Handmade Books,
Altered Books and Book Related Works
more work by Jody Alexander
Jody Alexander is an artist, bookbinder, papermaker, librarian and teacher who lives and works in Santa Cruz, California. She makes paper, in the Eastern-style, and uses her papers to bind books with exposed sewing on the spine in a number of historical and modern binding styles. She combines these books with found objects, wooden boxes and drawers, metal, bones, etc. to create sculptural works. Her pieces celebrate collecting, storytelling, and odd characters.
With her characteristic reverence for all things book, Alexander "exposes" the beauty, variation and craftsmanship of book bindings, carefully wrapping them in cotton batting and celebrating their natural quality. The works are exquisite and endearing. They spotlight a part of books seldom seen and taken for granted.
The term “exposed spine” is one used in bookbinding to describe a book that is bound with the intention of leaving the stitching on the spine exposed. However, this term continually conjures up different images to the artist, usually bodily. At the same time old books with their cloth or leather spines giving away to expose the stitching and the ambered glue continually attract her. Alexander finds beauty in the book’s decay. In her Exposed Spine series she wants to honor this part of the book that holds the pages together but is rarely seen.
The presentation of these objects in a pile in the exhibition gives the work a double edge. Because they are plentiful, the books and their usually hidden beautiful spines seems disposable, but by their tender treatment, the artist "mirrors" their natural qualities and deems them worthy of further consideration.
Each Exposed Spine $375