Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Signs from England (2)

My wanderer has been finding more book-related signs for me. A nice mosaic. Heavy, I would imagine.

South Bank Book Market

According to their website, Southbank Mosaics "actively promotes equal opportunities and cross-cultural, inter-generational mosaic art work." They are infusing related neighborhoods with literary mosaics, such as work by William Blake in his old neighborhood. As it turns out, the Project Blake mosaics are in a tunnel with yellow boxes nearby that contain recordings of the poems, if only you will press the button to hear them. (More about that project here. They also have a blog.)

William Blake merged writing and art—although his work was with engravings, not mosaics. Among other things, during his life (1757-1827) he had visions, taught Catherine, his illiterate wife to read, and instructed his younger brother Robert in drawing, painting, and engraving. Catherine later helped him print his illustrated texts. "Blake believed that his poetry could be read and understood by common people, but he was determined not to sacrifice his vision in order to become popular." (The source for the quote and more info about Blake here.)

It seems fitting that Southbank Mosaics had the vision to bring Blake's writing and art into a public space where common people can see it and share a collective experience.
Collaborative projects like these build communities, both within the creative group and within the connecting neighborhood.


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