Through art, John tries to create acts of redemption. He looks for that bit of grace when he carves into wood or models directly in wax. And if not redemption, then a caress, a sensuous form, a sinuous line which speaks of desire and passion. And if not a caress, then a reproach to our folly, our ironic insensitivity and our calloused eyes.
My work is intimate. My primary focus is the human figure. I often incorporate references to myth because I believe these archetypes are not just ancient stories but constructs of our psyche. They are emblems and emissaries of the larger reality which we gloss over or deny. They are arrows of desire which go to the heart of matter. The nature of art, transformation, death, sexuality are recurrent themes.
It is curious that art has such a restorative transformative power for us… what is the benefit of drawing on that source of creativity on however a mundane and clumsy fashion. It is extraordinary… beyond reason, at the very least a tonic for our age.
2000 Juror’s Award: Northern Contours Show
2000 Wood Award: Hand and Spirit Show
1999 Honourable Mention: Thunder Bay Regional Show
2005 Arrows of Desire: the Sculptural Investigation of John Books. Catalogue by curator Glenn Allison photos by Lori Fox Rossi
2000 Northern Contours Catalogue, Thunder Bay Art Gallery
2000 Hand & Spirit Catalogue, Sudbury Art Gallery
1998 Wood: An Aesthetic and Social Ecology Catalogue for show at Tom Thomson Gallery, Collingwood curated by Stephen Hogbin