Jeanne Williamson Ostroff


Altered Book


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Altered Book - The Fence Environment #1, mixed media with stiffened fabric,
book cover 9.25" x 6", book including pages 14" x 10.25"

In 2002, I started seeing different patterns, shapes and sizes of orange construction fences that were being used at many construction sites as a barrier to keep people out of danger, by blocking off the site. I think in grids, and because of that, I fell in love with the fences immediately.

I am also interested in personal boundaries. When I was looking for a book to alter, I was glad to be gifted the book, The Therapeutic Environment, by Robert Langs, MD, C 1979, (Jason Aronson), which was originally 575 pages.

My altered book, The Fence Environment #1, combines my interests in both fence and personal boundaries. The title is a play on the title of the original book and my love of construction fences, and it also stays within the naming system I use for my work, by using the word Fence in every title.

Some of the content in the original book included therapeutic boundaries, which I believe also works well with the how actual fences also provide boundaries.

In May 2011, I started to work on The Fence As Lace Series explores the lace-like qualities of construction fences. I carried that theme into this book.

The 28 or so new "pages" are made of monoprinted fabric that is stiffened so they feel more like paper. Before adding them to the book, I cut holes out of the edges of the stiffened fabric "pages", which made them more lace-like. I alternated between seven different patterns of "pages" that varied in size, pattern, density of paint and/or holes cut in them.

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Photo credits: Jeanne Williamson

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