Library of Withdrawn Books - Know Your Own I.Q.

Latest experiment, I've been looking into the Dewey Referencing System used by libraries and I'm considering writing catalogue entries for these 'reimagined' books. Here are the first ideas, the description is a visual test an not an actual representation of how this would look eventually.
I am considering pairing the book covers with catalogue cards and using my 1962 Olympus typewriter (if I can find someone still selling ribbons for vintage machines somewhere) to add the entry.

Earlier version (below), didn't like the eyes.

Rough test for catalogue card.

Library of Withdrawn Books

This is an idea for a series called the Library of Withdrawn Books or the Damp Library of Reimagined Books. I have a collection of vintage drawing and painting how-to guides along with many out dated art books. I wanted to imagine these books have reinvented or altered themselves for an imaginary library. The book contents will remain hidden but the altered covers shows the book has since transformed itself. This may form a series of 'altered covers' or a possible artist's book (catalogue) of withdrawn titles. What happens to all those books that no one else wants?
I want them.

Many thanks to Dr. Chris Mullen curator of the Culture Archive in Brighton and Jenni and Beth at the The University of Portsmouth Library for sourcing some great 'dead' books and magazines.


I do like detective fiction, I'm a great fan of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers. I enjoy the idea of everyday normality being broken up with horror bubbling under the surface. This inspired a pair of paintings, roughly brushed acrylic just over A2 each, based on that ubiquitous moment in crime drama when a car needs to be followed...DON'T GET TOO CLOSE!

 Watching Waiting

Keep Back


I have been reading a number of the Fantomas novels by French writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. The books are strange 'master criminal' and detective stories that go beyond odd. A favourite with the surrealists these stories include miraculous escapes, dastardly schemes and a mirriad of henchmen and replica rooms, mostly set in Paris around 1915 or so. There are a few equally odd film adaptations too by Louis Feuillade (1913).

I have been painting some imagined scenes from various adventures. These are all roughly brushed acrylic mostly about A1 size.

Fandor watches Juve

Seven Henchmen

Library of Found Magazines

I'm working on a series of altered magazine covers with a working title of: The Library of Found Magazines. I have a stack of Woman magazines from the '50s and '60s. I've always enjoyed the hyperbole of magazine advertisements since studying for my PhD a while ago, when I researched reassurance in American cigarette advertisements from 1945-1964. With this series I want to explore the UK magazines that instruct women how to be beautiful, successful but also an efficient housekeeper (see also my book Anxious Homes about poor housekeeping).  The hand drawn text is illustrated transcripts of the copy within the magazine, I've added no words of my own. This series of tearsheet covers may form the basis of a new artist's book or an exhibition.

'Message in a Bottle Exhibition' in Minneapolis

Message in a Bottle Exhibition : Secrets, Cyphers, Codes & Mysteries
Light Grey Art Lab, 118 E 26th Street #101, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

As a featured artist, I'll be showing eleven linocut images based around themes of lying, secrets and hidden meanings. To see the images in the show:
There'll also be a recorded interview available soon.

Opening Reception: Friday January 25th from 7 -10pm
The show runs through February 15th.
Regular Gallery Hours are Wed - Friday from 12 - 7pm
and on Saturday and Sunday from 12-3pm

"We are hosting the work of 40 international artists who will contribute mind-bending, coded works to Light Grey -- filled with secrets, hidden imagery and alternate meanings. Spend a little more time looking through the details in this show and you might just find something surprising.
Our lineup of events at Light Grey between Jan 25 and Feb 15 include classes on codes, secret imagery, mentalism and more. The exhibition will feature a limited edition print for those people that are the first to find the hidden images in the pieces, an interactive decoding piece, and walls and walls of art containing intimate secrets and mesmerizing detail.
Jackie Batey will also be joining us as a featured artist for this exhibition as well as Kali Ciesemier's MAKE 2013 workshop." Grey Art Lab website.