The LOST LIBRARY Phase I feels to me like it could carry on and evolve in response to different locations, taking on a book from the area of another library/festival…I also feel that Phase I needs physical movement in the form of dancers responding to the text and music (created in response to the text).  I found while pushing the Wheelbarrow about the Eisteddfod festival site that after a while my steps were in time with the music (once I had sorted out a new mobile speaker that was effective outside).  I also feel that the piece would benefit from a more dynamic approach – i.e. dance to bring the text to life and to explain the music.  There was an incompleteness in the performance I felt, without dancers embodying the text.

Phase I has more to achieve yet.  Just looking for the right opportunity to develop it on.

Phase II’s starting point is the value of libraries in our society.

I am also being pulled towards other social furniture that repeatedly appear across cities, towns and villages.  Benches, toilets, Parks, pavements/paths…

Larger scale: Libraries, schools, coffee shops, supermarkets, shops, trees, …

Smaller scale: Scratch cards (what do they represent?), mobile phones, coffee cups,

Whether these things are going to become something else that is completely separate or linked with the lost library project in some way is unclear!

254words is progressing steadily through the summer.  I have just counted and I’ve done 108 so far of business card size.  The constraint of the size produces results that would never happen on a larger scale.  I am also now timing myself (loosely – it’s not a rule, I put my timer on for 15 minutes and I stop abruptly at that point.  I can stop before if I feel it’s ready and I can carry on if I choose.  This may seem entirely ridiculous, but for some reason it works for me.  Taking away a lot of the decision making leaves more of my psychological energy for the work, it’s the constant small decisions that are draining to me.)

I have (except right now my studio is stuffed full, not to mention the old wheelbarrow sitting where my easel is often set up) been painting on larger canvas’ during Lost Library or 254 words working.  When planning, writing and painting on a 9 x 14cm canvas is too restrictive…I turn around and let it out on the much larger canvas…whatever surfaces.  These bigger pieces are sometimes completed very quickly, at others built up over time.  There are no rules here.


As I am going through my systematic way of getting the canvas in front of me, pulling a word out of the bag, titling, dating and signing the back of each before painting and now setting a timer so the painting finishes at an arbitrary point.  I have a part of my shed where I stick the picked words up and at the moment my shed is quite stuffed with bags of stuff to get rid of from the house, oh – and the Lost Library 1950’s wheelbarrow – that it is a good thing I am working small scale.  (Business card sized).  The balance of mess and (sometimes hyper) organisation is a delicate one with me and it’s working at the moment, but I will have to find a way to push more space out of my shed…also, I was working alongside a decent sized spider this evening, which made me uneasy, but it was ok.

With choosing the word to work with out of a stable of words and therefore choosing the title before painting, I have been wondering what effect it has on the outcome?  I feel the word does influence the result, sometimes obviously and at others barely or maybe not at all.  How could I possible find out?

It is now just over a fortnight since the last day of Lost Library – Border Country.  I feel now I could have pared the performances down to the bare minimum of giving away of the text and the seedlings; the music could come into a separate part to the interpretation of the text into movement/dance with music inspired by the book.