Books About Town
Posted on September 21, 2014 in Uncategorized
Last week members of the SYP took off on a Book Bench literary tour around Bloomsbury. The trail we followed was part of Books about Town, an initiative from the National Literary Trust and Wild in Art to bring to life many of our favourite books as benches dotted around the city.
The benches are arranged in trails designed to help you explore the relationship between books and the city. The Day of the Triffids themed bench is located just outside the University of London Senate House where many of novel’s major events take place for example, and the Peter Pan bench is a stone’s throw from Great Ormond Street Hospital with its famous links to the lost boy. The benches on the trail we explored were typically situated in public squares and parks and were a good example of art that complements its surroundings in this urban space.
The trail we followed around Bloomsbury from Holborn station up to Warren Street and back again.
According to the scheme’s organisers the benches are decorated by professional illustrators and local artists to add to the links between literature and place. They are all shaped like an open book which gives an inviting feeling and a sense that by sitting between its pages you can become part of the story. They say that the trails are ‘a unique opportunity to explore the capital’s literary connections, to enjoy art from some of the country’s top artists and to celebrate reading for enjoyment.’
Although the light was fading we still got a good look at many of the benches on our list. A few of our favourites are pictured below.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe bench was very popular among our group. It was placed in a quiet park cum graveyard and we liked the use of the wintry colours which we thought captured some of the sinister atmosphere of the book.
We felt that the Jeeves and Wooster bench was a little plain but the design meant that we could interact with the picture.
The 1984 book bench was as vibrant and complex as the novel. We traced the famous Orwellian slogans amongst the multitude of figures on the design.
Sadly, the project has now finished but to view all the benches online go to: http://www.booksabouttown.org.uk/
The benches will be auctioned live at The Southbank Centre on the 7th October. All proceeds will go to support the work of the National Literacy Trust.