GVPL Bruce Hutchison News Programs Visual

“Salvage” by Christine Walde @ GVPL Bruce Hutchison Branch

8 September – 4 December 2023
GVPL Bruce Hutchison
Saanich Commonwealth Place 4636 Elk Lake Dr.
MWFS 10am-6pm / TTh 10am-7pm

About the Artist:

Christine Walde is an artist, poet, and librarian whose work combines library and archival research with interests in artist books and multiples, experimental prose, poetry, visual poetry, performance, and the visual arts.

Her work has been published in print and online journals in Canada, the US, the UK and Germany.

Walde lives and works on the traditional territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples in the Cascadia Bioregion of the Pacific Northwest.


Salvage is a special collection of wooden books salvaged from the beaches of Vancouver Island and the Cascadia bioregion of the Pacific Northwest that suggest through their height, weight, width, and shape the conceptual idea and physical embodiment of the codex.

In an age when duplicate copies of digital files exist in a multitude of versions, each wooden book is unique and speaks of our relationship to nature and industry, the production of paper and bookmaking, and by extension, the forces of market capitalism and the current climate crisis. Eroded by weathering, the conditions of journey, there is a transformation in all of the books, from what they once were— a piece of a  door, a 2×4, a section of sawed-off lumber —  to what they have become, found afloat in the ocean and then washed up on shore. Exposed to prolonged conditions of weather, transformed by time and space, these books speak to the singular and finite nature of being, to mortality, and to our time on Earth. 

As containers of knowledge, however, they are also closed to us — inaccessible and unable to be opened or read — functioning as purely visual objects, regardless of how they may suggest the act of reading, of intimacy and engagement. As a librarian and artist, my impulse to collect these books is from a desire to salvage them — to rescue, protect, and preserve them for the future,  to ensure that we cannot stop “reading” them, nor look away from their history and transformation.