When I founded The Library of Lost Books, my intention was to curate an exhibition that would speak to people of all ages and walks of life. I wanted to create a project not only that my contemporary-art-hating neighbour Ray might enjoy, but that many people would love and be inspired by.
Library of Birmingham cleared out many old books when they moved to new premises in 2013. I was given many of their discarded books and sent out an open call for book-artists to take an old, sometimes damaged book, and make into something special. Our subsequent exhibition celebrated the opening of the new Library and the joy of books.
The project was partially funded by a public membership scheme and involved contributions of time and expertise from many people and volunteers. Sheaffer Pens funded the publication of a book about the project, written in conjunction with Jessica Glaser from Wolverhampton University, while photographer David Knight kindly volunteered his time to take the photographs.
After exhibiting at the Library of Birmingham, many of the works toured to other regions of the UK. The collection is now archived at the University of Wolverhampton. The Library of Lost Books was seen by over 15,000 people before it closed in 2014.
The project blog is still available where you can see all the books: www.thelibraryoflostbooks.blogspot.com