Lost and found - The Library of Lost Books at Library of Birmingham

The 23rd November will mark a special day for Whovians, being the 50th Anniversary special episode of Doctor Who, but it also sees the end of a special event at the new Library of Birmingham with the conclusion of The Library of Lost Books.  The Library of Lost Books has seen Birmingham based artist Susan Kruse rescue books discarded from the former Central Library and sent across the UK to artists who have given these books a new lease of life as works of art.

Susan approached different artists with the following call:

The finished exhibition will enchant the audience through the magic, beauty, wonder, humour and mystery of the works presented. Artists are encouraged to be as imaginative and playful as they can. Although the selected artists and printmakers can work with the book in any way they choose, successful work will exhibit at least one of the following:
1. The work explores the book as an object of wonder, beauty and/or magic.
2. The work is driven by a considered engagement with the book-as-object.
3. The work is technically interesting or innovative
4. The work engages with the book as an historical object.

The elderly, unloved or battered books, some with broken spines or margin annotations and dog-eared pages, rescued by Susan were still beautiful in their forlorn states with old bindings, engravings, old photographs, beautiful paper and letterpress printed pages.

The artists have however turned the books into works of art, preserving books that for many although old remain special.  In the Doctor Who episode Silence in the Library the Doctor notes that people never really stop loving books and noting the smell of books and even in their decay they exert a magic through prose and beauty.

The Library of Lost Books captures the magic of these books into true works of art.

48 artists have each worked on a book and brought their own interpretation and use of different materials and techniques to make their book into a work of art.  A links to the artists' own websites can be found below: 

Melanie J.Alexandrou
Linda Carreiro
Francis Chalet
Amy Davies
Sara Dziadik
Maureen Duke
Cath Fairgrieve
Oliver Flude
Jessica Glaser

Wayne Hourihan
Helen Harrop
Andrew Howell
Jane Hyslop
Tracy Leech-Williams

Catherine Scriven
 Evlynn Sharp
Elizabeth Willow

A few pictures from the Library of Lost Books are shown below:

You can share the Library of Lost Books by creating your own book to add to your own personal library with a book about the creation and exhibiting of the books available here: http://thelibraryoflostbooks.bigcartel.com/product/bringing-back-the-book 


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