How Frugal is the Chariot that Bears a Human Soul, Drawing tour of Thornton Heath Library, 2015

In 2015, Turf Projects invited me to lead a drawing tour of Thornton Heath Library, as part of their Stones of Croydon series. During the workshop, participants were provided with a selection of texts, which were all on the subject of libraries or books. Authors included: Alan Bennett, Emily Dickinson, Rebecca Makkai, Haruki Murakami, Jorge Luis Borges, Terry Pratchett, A.S. Byatt, Roald Dahl, Edgar Guest, Jo Walton, Betty Smith, and Margret Widdemer, amongst others. The texts were used as the 'ground' for drawings. Inspired by their surroundings and the written texts, participants incorporated or obliterated the texts as their drawings developed. The swapping and sharing of sheets was encouraged.

At a time when funding for libraries is being cut dramatically, I wanted to highlight the importances of libraries and books through the words of numerous celebrated authors. Many of the selected texts speak of the companionship and refuge offered by books, some describe them as vehicles which transport the reader to mysterious new worlds, and others are beautiful articulations of the joy that poetry and literature can evoke. All of the texts demonstrate the significance of libraries and books in our culture.

The drawings produced during the tour were collected and collated into a small book. This unique artefact was donated to the library.

Commissioned by:
Turf Projects