Artist in residence cushions 18-19 project

Artist in residence project 18-19

Information about the inaugural year of the 'Artist in Residence' project hosted at Bower Ashton Library, City Campus.

This was the first year we have formally run our Artist in Residence project, a collaboration between Angie Butler (Researcher, Centre for Fine Print Research) and Zelda Velika (MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking).

Angie and Zelda asked the staff at Bower Ashton to collect all the scraps of paper left in returned library books, along with the little notes we write at the desk during the course of a day. For a month we amassed a variety of physical information that reported on how a book was used; listed things people needed to remember; learning experiences; placeholders for important information; placeholders for forgotten information. Each of these scraps of relayed the nature and character of library users.

Our artists then set about arranging these scraps together to make new narratives with an idea of collating a series of poems/statements into artists’ books.

They could have stopped there… but in a flash of inspiration, Angie and Zelda realised that their poems could be digitally printed onto fabric and turned into a set of cushions, therefore answering a question they had posed themselves about how to make their work available and accessible to the library-using audience...cushions! So that’s what they did, finally unveiling their work to staff and students at Bower Ashton in June 2019 and garnering a lot of attention on our UWE Bristol Library social media accounts.

Our artists also produced a set of three, folded printed editions that will be made available for sale as well as a boxed set of the original, mounted scraps of poetry. These went on display in the library over the summer and we have a copy in our Special Collections at Bower Ashton Library. The cushions have now been let loose around the library.

Bower Ashton Library would like to thank Angie and Zelda for all their hard work, for making this year’s project such a success and surpassing all expectations! Also to Sarah Bodman at UWE Bristol’s Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) for her invaluable guidance and advice. Thank you to the staff at the Art Shop for their help and assistance.

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