A Perfect Place.

Thinking about creating numerous peices to display on the library shelves, yet again my eyes wandered back to the bookarts website1. I took inspiration from the website and soon realised that the majority of the books I had collected would be made into unreadable book sculptures. This meant that they would keep their individual meaning and beauty locked deep within them all. However, this is not the only exploration that will be made within my exhibit. Through the idea of unreadable books I intend to look at the identity of books and their importance within society. If ‘To make a book is to gain power over objects.’2  then to make a book unreadable is to take that power away from the books, I will not be completely destroying the books, so the power will remain, just not be visible  In the exhibition I will also look into the library’s identity, the library user’s identity and my own identity. I worked out a long list of concepts for exhibitions revolving around these pieces. Some ideas fell by the way as my piece took shape and some took on a greater life, looming large in their importance to the piece.

I had to find the perfect place to display my exhibition. I knew the bookshelf would need meaning, it was really important to me that the book shelf wasn’t just any old shelf, convenient but without relevance. I wandered up and down the isles on each individual floor. I started with the third floor, I felt perhaps the silent nature might lend itself to the vision of an art gallery. However, it was too quiet and I realised that one of the main points of art is to raise discussion. The silence would be a hindrance to the process, discussion would not take place and I wanted my efforts to spark conversation and discussion with people. It wanted my piece to cause sparks of communication and for ideas to be set alight about what the pieces meant to everyone individually. None of the Shelves on this floor spoke to me, and so I moved down a floor. The second floor is where I spend a lot of my time in the library, as this is the floor that holds the Drama books, I lingered around the art books, but it just felt to obvious and predictable. I moved done to the first floor and as I got to the back of this floor it was like I had stumbled across the Holy Grail. As the natural light streamed in through the large glass windows I heard angels singing, not really I just thought it look pretty awesome. The last bookshelf on the 1st floor stands opposite a huge set of glass windows, most windows in the library, excluding around the stairs, are quite small. The huge amount of natural light flooding in makes this bookshelf feel like a different part of the library. Artificial lights are on everywhere in the library to aid the students, making sure we’re not all stumbling around bumping into each other like moles scurrying around our underground mazes. But this shelf didn’t feel artificial; looking out at the people going about their daily business contrasted with library life, I felt a real juxtaposition of energy. There is also a small bench that runs along the window, the perfect place for someone to sit and think, potentially critically, about my work. The library’s architects clearly saw me coming, could they have made it any easier for me!

21/03/2013, GCW Library, photography taken by Cathy Dillon

21/03/2013, GCW Library, photography taken by Cathy Dillon

After inviting Wes to see my proposed exhibition space, he agreed, even though the only meaning behind choosing the shelf was aesthetic, that meaning was enough. We spoke about the shelf it was on and how it would be ignorant to completely ignore the books surrounding my piece. So it was decided another exploration within my exhibition would be about and including the books on the shelf 324.242 – 327.73, Politics and government, Electoral systems, Migration, Colonialism, slavery and emancipation, International relations.




Word Count: 683

Works Cited

Wasserman, Krystyna, (2007), The Book as Art: Artists’ Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Princeton Architectural Press.


  1. http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/ []
  2. Wasserman, 2007, pg.12 []
Posted: April 25th, 2013
Categories: Shelved
Comments: No Comments.

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