Kate Kato Turns Old Books Into Intricate Nature-Inspired Sculptures

Old books usually don’t have a pretty life. They get stored in storage or the basement and spend the rest of their time in the dark. But British artist Kate Kato is trying to change that by turning the discarded books into intricate sculptures.

Kato is an artist, sculptor, and collector who uses paper as her primary material for making art. Inspired by nature, she started her creative journey by crafting paper animals, insects, flowers, and plants. At first, these paper flora and fauna works were made as standalone pieces. But as her creative vision evolved, she started combining them with other objects to create more complex artworks. 

The most common item that Kato combines with paper flora and fauna are old books. This combination results in impressive sculptures. In some of them, flowers and plants take over the covers and give the impression that they are growing out straight from the book. In others, insects like bees and butterflies make the book their home.

Using old books as part of her art made sense for Kato. While studying graphic design, she focused on bookmaking and print and acquired bookbinding skills. During that time, she also explored “narrative and alternative ways of presenting stories and books.”

Check out more of her pieces below.