An ‘artist’s book’ is a book, or an object like a book, that is considered a work of art in it’s own right. Different to a traditional binding, the appearance of an artist’s book has been determined entirely by the artist/binder. Artist’s books are most often produced singularly, as a unique piece of artwork, but may also be produced in a small limited edition.
‘The book is often symbolic of civilization’s advanced state of society. It represents mans knowledge and education; the book throughout the ages is what makes a man a man, and divides humanity from the beasts.’ - Tom O’Reilly, 2011.
As a book artist, Tom is primarily concerned with exploring man’s relationship to nature. The book is representative of civilization, and by converging the traditional book form with elements of nature, he expresses the ongoing struggle between two sides of humanity – the conscious, civilized human, and the instinctual beast within.
Tom aims to continue to expand his innovative illustrative techniques of pictorial bookbinding, developing craft into art, and examining the relationship of nature and humanity.
"Fine binding ... implies that the craftsman has done his best with the best materials. It may be plain or decorated, but whatever work there is should be the best of which the craftsman is capable."