E is for Escaping the Page

| April 15, 2014

I recently stumbled upon this article, which features Andrea Mastrovito’s piece, “The Island of Mastrovito.”

“Assembled from hundreds of cutout plants and animals from repurposed textbooks, artist Andrea Mastrovitocreated a striking installation where a colony of bats clings to the ceiling, a flight butterflies swarm the gallery walls, and all matter of insects, [mammals] and plants intermingle across the floor. The sprawling artwork spans the realms of collage, diorama and trompe-l’œil and was inspired in part by H. G. Wells’ science fiction novel The Island of Doctor Moreau.”

The concept to me is very intriguing: to free illustrations from their confines of the page; to give a kind of “life” to images of things that really are living but are merely represented within a book. It makes me wonder in what ways we can encourage students to “escape the page.” In what ways can we help them bring texts– whether it’s illustrations or words– to life? What is even more fascinating to me is that this piece is partially inspired by another text itself. By having students draw connections, to other texts or their own lives, they can begin to enter the vivid worlds created on a page. Having students interact with texts with drama, music, art, and their own creative writing can help push beyond the confines of traditional worksheets or essays, and can help students give their own life to what may be on a page in front of them.