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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Exhibition | We believe in handmadeness: 40 years of John Bently’s Liver & Lights Scriptorium  Event

John Bentley artwork
3 May 2024 - 6 June 2024
Winchester School of Art Library

Event details

This exhibition celebrates forty years of the Liver & Lights Scriptorium, artist John Bently’s imprint for exploring the infinite possibilities of the book as a form of art. The collection is part of Winchester School of Art Library’s Artists’ Book Collection. This exhibition is curated by Catherine Polley (Head of Collections Engagement) and Fiona Nichols (Engagement Librarian)

Times: Vary as per library opening times. This exhibition is free to attend. For opening times, please see the library schedule.

Speaking of the exhibition, Polley notes "I first came across the Liver & Lights Scriptorium and the work of John Bently when I worked at Chelsea College of Art and Design in the early 1990s. I became excited by the different materials and forms, not just paper, in how these books were put together, and it made me question the term artists’ books and what they were. When I joined Winchester School of Art I wanted to add John’s works to the collection. John had a full set complete with ephemera and together with the then Librarian, Linda Newington, we bought it. Liver & Lights has only been possible through its loyal subscribers, an early example of crowd funding, and many of the books list those subscribers.

We have continued as loyal subscribers and we are now one of only a handful of institutions, that also includes the British Library Special Collections, and the Tate Gallery, who hold the full collection.

The exhibition showcases John’s artists’ books through a variety of different formats, content and design and covers examples that stretch across the whole forty years of making and performing.

Enjoy the handmadeness!"

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