Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Wall

Today I finally got around to starting the small wall of books that is going to be located near  601 mvr Studio Gallery (aka The Shed).

Two-three years ago I created an installation of three stacks of discarded encyclopaedias called Quiet Transition.

©Barry Smith - Quiet Transition - installation of encyclopaedias and year books
It has sat out in the open near The Shed for all that time; and the stacks are starting to gradually breakdown - probably take about another 2-3 years.

©2013 Barry Smith - Backside view of central stack of Quiet Transition a few years on
This gave me the idea of creating a small wall from discarded books I have been collecting in the garage.

©2013 Barry Smith - A stash of books waiting for The Wall
The Wall is to be about .6m high and 10m long. It will run from the Peace Post alongside a stone river to the top entry to The Shed.

Today I started to create an earth pathway-pad; and cement continuous metal thread into the pathway about 1m  apart. The metal three will hold planks in place to compress the books to enable them to last longer in the elements and to stop them toppling over.

©2013 Barry Smith - Peace Post and first foundation hole for the Wall
©2013 Barry Smith - Metal thread cemented for The Wall - some nice curves
©2013 Barry Smith - Recycled metal thread with my trusty 1m long bolt cutters
As you can see from the photos above I got about half of the metal threads cemented in. Once that job is complete Fiona and I can start the process of creating The Wall by stacking books in overlapping layers.

One of the things I liked about doing the work on the book wall today was the fact that I found myself listening to Pink Floyd's album The Wall - I smiled about the possible contrast between the lyrics and the fact that we would be building a wall out of books.  Hopefully some of these books could have torn the walls of ignorance and bias down not hemmed people in.


  1. I like this idea of ​​"smooth transition".

  2. this is going to be good! have loved seeing the process of the encycloaedias :-)

  3. barry, this is so very very cool! wonderful.

  4. I'm with Velma...
    and to add that I love the scale shift from the small peace book pendants to the large wall... can't wait to see it!

  5. What a great concept, I look forward to seeing it complete.

  6. It will be wonderful to watch the physical changes that will happen to your wall of books.. and contemplate how books can fight ignorance and bias at the same time.

  7. L, SS, V & VA - Thanks for your comments - the wall certainly is on a different scale to the smaller work such as the jewellery. I often think it is all just a matter of scale - all my work really is 3d - some is just tiny. L - the book stacks are making a lovely transition. SS - like you I just love the process - nature is the change artist on the stacks as will be the case with the wall. V - I'm hoping it will look cool - guess Fiona and I will play with the placement of the books. VA - wouldn't it be fun to make one meandering through your forest? Could be a student recycling project. All go well and have creative crazy ideas. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.