«Back to As a Matter of Art

Books Take On a Life of Their Own at Ossining Public Library

Artist Shiela Hale presents books as works of art – she alters them, builds them, and brings them to life in her new Lost and Found installation at the Ossining Public Library. The installation will include the artist’s ongoing Volumes from a Black Library project, a collection of books that have had their text shredded or replaced with bits of nature. This is in response to her anger at the way language is often used to “manipulate and deceive.” The artist disfigures the text so that it seems beautiful, but all of its meaning has been lost.

In The Scholar’s Desk, Hale reflects on the vast amount of knowledge contained in books that is often lost. The piece portrays a scene in which a scholar has been working at a desk piled with books. Audiences will see small book-like forms, information escaping from the book’s pages in an attempt to educate the world – by flying out onto the gallery walls like butterflies. The exhibition is on view through April 30. For more info, visit: ossininglibrary.org.

A version of this article first appeared in the April 2017 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews

Photo caption: Detail of The Scholar’s Desk by Shiela Hale