Altered Passport

This project came from a workshop I took from Orly Avineri called “The Visual Journal as Sanctuary.” We started with expired passports and after two days of work, reflection, and awe, we came away with passports that had taken an entirely new journey.

The passport I used came from an Israeli woman. I bought the thing on eBay. Because of its origin, the passport read backward from the way we do in English. That gave some additional character to this project. I inserted recycled pages, found objects, tea dyed pieces, tags, tea bags, old postcards, stamped paper, painted paper, fabric, and a host of other objects into this now bulging passport. Somewhere along the line I started calling the book “Erna” after the original owner of the passport. I often wonder what she would think of the way her passport looks now, and of the technology I’m using to share this artwork with others.

If you are interested in more information about Orly’s work, visit her web site at She is a very powerful teacher. In early 2018 Orly will be back in Albuquerque and I highly recommend her workshops to other artists.

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