Congratulations to Gwen Simpson, who has won the Summer Read Book Art Competition with her entry. She was delighted to recieve this message from the organisers
"The judges unaminously agreed that your self-assembly Mumbai slum dwelling constructed from recycled materials showed both engagement with the content and context of Behind the Beautiful Forevers and was a tactile and skillfully realised piece of book art in it's own right.. one of the joys of your entry was it's tactile quality utilising the various different materials and also the way it both conformed to Book Art and yet promised a sculptural conclusion"
Gwen has decided to donate the prize money to a school in Mumabi. Organiser Sam Ruddock contacted the books author Kathrine Boo, who suggested Muktangan, an educational charity that is part of a UK Trust. The charity believes that focussing on positive transactions between teachers and students should be at the heart of engaging education. their web site can be viewed : http/www.muktanganedu.org
Runner Up Karen Apps
The judges wrote " It is an excellently designed and produced , and intriguing little book object that is as minimal as the story it is based on. Quick cunning and naughty. it uses a larger than life scale to hint at the potential destruction and unknown dangers lurking within its seeemingly innocent packaging and the quote expands on the story itself"
Highly Commended Chris Ruston
Finally regarding Chris's entry:
"The judges were hugely impressed by with the way the dark foreboding of McGregor's story is mirrored in the murky blues and continuous flow inherent in the concertina book structures. The hand written text taken from the story involves the reader in the protagonist's paranoia, while the ripped tops of pages hint at the skies of the Fens and the potential for flooding from above"
A selection of entries will be on view at the Norwich Millenium Library from Monday 19th to Saturday 31st August.
The Norwich Writers Centre have organised a Summer Reads Book Art Competition. From a selection of six nominated Books artists were asked to make a response to their chosen book.
Chris Ruston chose to respond to Jon McGregor's This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone like You. She has selected the short story If It Keeps on Raining. The story centres on a man who keeps a watch on the skies, and who is making plans as he is convinced there will be a flood. He reflects on daily life and considers what is really important. The reader is also caught in questioning the pace of our daily lives.
Her book seeks to capture the mood of the Fens with it's dark peaty earth, and wide flat horizons.The somber mood suggests the flood is approaching. Some of McGregor's words are incorporated into the pages. The book is painted on Fabriano paper using inks. The structure uses a double concertina fold, with board covers.
Gwen Simpson responded to Katherine Boo - Behind the Beautiful Forevers. A story of families living in the slums of Mumbai, making a living from recycling the rubbish on the city dump.
Gwen was struck how people living in these difficult conditions are able to create such colourful dwellings by reusing plastic sheeting and other scavenged materials.
This was her starting point and she has produced a book made completely of recycled materials - plastic bags and cardboard. She calls attention to how Westerners readily purchase flat packed furniture from large companies like Ikea and wanted to acknowledge the creativity of people who have little, but who build colourful dwellings - something from nothing. Here is your very own "flat pack" DIY slum dwelling!
Karen Apps was drawn to a (very) short story also taken from Jon McGregor's This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone like You.. In just one sentence McGregor gives us a glimpse of a tale about a spreading fire that is both potentially horrifying and slightly comical. “Fleeing Complexity The fire spread quicker than the little bastard was expecting.” For Karen this conjured up images of the consequences of playing with matches. Her book, Le Petit Batard takes the form of a matchbook which is made twice actual size to simulate a child's perspective of the object. The origin of the word bastard is said to originate in Old French but here a modern translation is used.