Book Apothecary celebrates joy of literature on Epilogue Tour around Newcastle

By Culture24 Reporter | 25 July 2012
A photo of three women walking along a railway platform holding suitcases and carrying books
Book Apothecary artists (left to right) Theresa Easton, Yvette Hawkins and Kathryn McCandless© Barry Pells Photography
Cultural Olympiad 2012: Epilogue Tour, various venues, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, until November 2012

Inside a travelling museum going by the name of Book Apothecary, you’ll find handmade books, audio-visual art, prints, animation, traditional book-binding techniques and “curious bookish objects”.  

But rather than sitting preserved in cases, these objects are snuck inside a set of 16 reclaimed vintage suitcases and trunks in a brilliant idea by Yvette Hawkins celebrating books, literature and reading as part of London 2012.

“Books are all around us every day,” she says. “We use them to entertain ourselves with stories, but, other than an attractive front cover people rarely think of books as a physical art form.

“In today’s hi-tech world of Kindles and IPads, we are celebrating book art and want more people to enjoy everything that’s beautiful about books, paper, pages, bindings, prints, sculpture and storytelling. So we came up with our quirky idea for a travelling Book Apothecary.”

Seven groups of young emerging artists and curators are participating, inspired by the wisdom of Hawkins and five other mentors.

Their tour dates visit five spaces connected with the themes of travel and discovery, including tube and bus stations, the 19th century locomotive powerhouse at Stephenson’s Works and the Great North Museum.

“It’s even better that it’s part of the Cultural Olympiad,” adds Hawkins. “We hope that we will capture the imagination of the public and encourage people to want to discover book art and its special way of storytelling.”

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