Today I went to visit The Sketchbook Project at Canada Water Library. The first time they have exhibited submissions overseas, I excitedly travelled to London and rendezvoused with my auntie to greet my well-travelled sketchbook along with many of its new buddies.
The venue feels like a stage as we enter with its bright spotlights, wooden floor and emotive records, spun by a sweet soul in the corner. People are queuing to search the library catalogue and the sketchbook elves are finding their orders using their iphones / as if by magic.
After registering a library card, I first sought out my own Transatlantic-themed sketchbook which I submitted to the project back in January. It was in good condition and even though I remembered each page well it was nice to physically hold it - curiously akin to seeing an old friend. As my auntie turned the pages for the first time it was nice to see her appreciative reaction and share some of the in-jokes with her. I also secured an olympic stamp to a gap I had left at the time of submission; a tiny yet significant resolution to my first submission.
There was a strong sense of community in the library with people sharing their finds (both good and bad) but the books also seemed to be taking each reader into a world of their own. A highlight for me has been meeting fellow participants and looking through their books whilst they look through mine! Connecting to other people who are part of the project has been an unexpected bonus of the day, and some of their techniques for remastering the original book format have sparked bolder ideas for my 2013 entry.
Here is my stubby little thumb with some of my favourite discovered spreads, including the work of
James Milligan, Swansea, UK
Ina Kuehfuss, Auckland, New Zealand
& Jorji Gardnener, Bridgewater, Australia.