A work of art to remember
A SUBMARINE made from old, salvaged military books has been unveiled at the John Curtin Gallery to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice.
MORE than 250 military books have been turned into an art project to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.
The 14m-long model of the AE1, Australia’s first submarine, was made completely from book covers salvaged by artist Jo Darbyshire.
Darbyshire said she happened across the books by chance and upon learning they were destined for landfill decided to save them.
“I was told they were the old library defence force barracks and belonged to the Royal United Service Institute; all books were from offices of the defence forces in Perth barracks,” she said.
“Each title had a story and in the end I took home 400 books, gave them away to people and tried to keep some, but mainly I was thinking ‘how can I display this as a library, as a collection of books about war?’.”
The books cover subjects from military history, including World War I, World War II, to the exploits of Australian soldiers, wars in Asia and Hitler’s rule.
Darbyshire said despite trends towards eBooks, nothing would ever replace the feeling of holding a book in your hands.
“I hope people get a sense of sadness about the work that’s gone into these books, someone spending time writing them, all the work publishing them, the handling by librarians and the hundreds of people who have taken out books and read them. I want people to feel that,” she said.
“You don’t get that from Kindle, that beautiful sense of the history of a book, how it’s been made and the work gone into it.”
Darbyshire said she wanted to keep the books’ message alive as art.
The installation will be open at the John Curtin Gallery until December 2.
Artist Jo Darbyshire next to her submarine
Curtin Hive manager Dr Andrew Woods and John Curtin Gallery director Chris Malcolm with the artwork made from military books.