Transforming Texts: The Creation of New Art from Old Books

Lauren Zeller, M1, Class of 2022

“This was once a copy of The Wizard of Oz that I transformed into a dynamic multimedia piece of artwork. It contains countless drawings, prints, paintings, and even stitchwork on fabric. This altered art book took me a total of 5 years to complete. I began working on this project when I was a junior in high school, and I finished it as a junior in college. Inside this book I chose to catalog some of my thoughts, emotions, and passions at the time. I also dedicated several pages as tributes for family, for a friend that died young, and to document my growth as an individual. After completing this work, I had the opportunity to have it featured in an exhibition at the Topeka Public Library. Some people have expressed dissent and general disagreement at the thought of permanently defacing books, but I feel that books that have suffered damage or that have been forgotten can have new life breathed into them by transforming them into meaningful pieces of art.”

– Lauren Zeller, M1
“My life may fall into the flames of despair, but here in the dark I must always remain.”
“She was awakened”
“To my fellow zombie slayer,
The world doesn’t seem right now that you’re gone. You lit my world afire with laughter and love, yet when you were taken away, that fire was all too quickly stifled. I think about you everyday, and see you in everything I do. I sometimes wish that you were still here to see everything the world has to offer now. I realize that you will never see the wonderful things that we have made and it makes me miss you even more. I love you so much Nick, and will always hold you in my heart.
Your friend,
“I flew away thinking I was a person. After looking at me I wonder if he wanted me. I feld sad, ‘If you only had brains in your head you would be as good a man as any of them, and a better man than some of them. Brains are the only things worth having in this world.’ I would try hard to get some brains. I am the Scarecrow.”
“Water the child, the little girl, the world, and be at home.”
“Life is full of luck, love, terror, joy, hate, and despair. Make light of every moment and just live.”

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