Stories from the stacks

Using weeded and recycled books in Margaret River Senior High School Library

Petra Stene with Judith Westaway


The finished book wall with vase and flowers.
The finished book wall with vase and flowers. Photography by Judith Westaway. Used with permission

This is the book wall that we built in the library. We had joined the school waste wise committee and we were inspired by the many pictures on the internet of art and objects made from recycled books, so decided to create a new look for our library. To this end we collected hundreds of books via weeding, dumpster diving and donations from our local Vinnie's store (they find it very difficult to sell books).

At the direction of a hard task-master and concept artist, Society and Environment teacher Martin Keen made the wall over a period of three days, using lots of glue, a band-saw blade and some gap filler. It is fairly weighty and won't be moved without a chain-saw.

It has created an alcove that hides the photocopier and is one of the first things you see when you walk into the library. We love it! It has been much admired and has even featured in our local paper. The 'vase' that you see on top of it was made by our computer technician, Garry Pusey, and is made out of four old science books that they were throwing into the skip. The 'flowers' were created by two of our students from old magazine pages.

We are still collecting encyclopaedias and other books to create legs for tables and other library sculptures. Our Art teachers, Kate Marzohl-Duffy and Caroline Juniper, also use the books in their class to create art works and visual diaries.

Book wall stage 1Book wall stage 2Book wall stage 3Book wall stage 4Book wall stage 5Book wall stage 6
                                              The stages of creation. Photography by Judith Westaway. Used with permission


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