‘The Hidden Bookshelf’ is an installation I have been working on for Huddersfield Library. Last year, they had redecorated the entire library which meant they had to take down their existing collection of artwork that was on display. They decided to not put the work back up as they felt it had been up for far too long, and they wanted to replace them with something much newer that would compliment the library, they felt that textiles was a suitable medium as it has a different quality than the traditional art forms.
At the end of my first year at university, I had just chosen my specialism (knit) and my professional practice (textile artist), and my tutor had organised a 4 week project with the library where we would replace some of the artwork with our own. I was really looking forward to it, as it was the first thing I was going to do as a practitioner. I went through the motions of creating a sketchbook of my ideas, where I ended up looking at the paper edging of books. I wanted to explore and celebrate this art because it no longer seems to be in use. I wanted to see if any of the books in the library had any designs on them and then I wanted to replicate this with knit.
I turned all the books from a single section of shelves around, so their spines were against the back of the shelf. By doing this, it was only the paper that could be seen. Instead of looking like a collection of single books, they all blended together to make one collection of beautiful soft creams, yellows and greys.
I decided to replicate this because it is a view that is never seen by the viewer. We view a book from its spine and its front cover; I loved the idea of removing that and only having the paper to intrigue.