The Book Borrowers @Crown Street Gallery

The Book Borrowers  

  @Central Library, Crown Street, Darlington, DL1 1ND

Tel 01325 462034 Fax: 01325 381556

Tuesday 18 December – Thursday 17January 2013

Yvette Hawkins, Theresa Easton and Dawn Felicia Knox

Crown Street Gallery is a new gallery space in Darlington.  Exhibiting regional and local artist’s work, the space acts as a hub  between  diverse art forms in the area and region. 


For  ‘The Book Borrowers’,  Theresa Easton has used recycled library books, to make a series of work entitled,  Book Case.  The work presents a collection of altered books adorning  furniture  usually associated with ‘holding and storing’ books and objects.   The altered books have been manipulated and transformed into sculptural objects, denying the reader the opportunity or possibility of ever reading them again.   The work acts as a metaphor,  representing the reality of library closures and the loss of these library books from the public domain, as well as the space to read them. Incorporated into the pages of furniture are hand printed broadsides, referencing the journey reading & literature has undergone since the invention of the printing press and ‘Freedom of the Press’.

Between 1908 – 1910, Arthur Mee’s ‘ The Children’s encyclopaedia’ could be purchased in fortnightly parts and finally bound into books at an extra cost.  Easton has sought inspiration and knowledge from her own inherited collection since a child and uses the pages from a collection of unbound periodicals to ‘decorate’ and transform the furniture.  Arthur Mee’s ‘The Children’s encyclopaedia’ gives an insight into the social values of the day, celebrating the British Empire, while trying to make learning interesting, and it was this aspect that has continuously caught Easton’s attention.

Recently exhibited at 36 Lime Street Gallery, Newcastle, during the annual Ouseburn Open Studios (where Easton has her print studio), the piece has been specially adapted for the space at Crown Street Gallery.  Self-commissioned at a time when Newcastle City Council announces major spending cuts and library closures, Book Case attempts to address the significance of cross fertilisation in Easton’s practice and the influence that access to libraries has in her work.    All the books used in Book Case had originally been deemed ‘unfit for purpose’ by libraries across the North East.


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