Librarian Christine Walde combs the beaches for her latest exhibit


Presented by the Victoria Arts Council, Salvage, by Fine Arts & Grants and Awards Librarian Christine Walde, is now on display until December 4 at the Bruce Hutchison branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library.

Salvage is a collection of driftwood books salvaged from the beaches of Vancouver Island and the Cascadia bioregion of the Pacific Northwest. Collected over a ten-year period, they have not been altered in any way, and suggest through their height, weight, width, depth 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 2x4, 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.

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