10,000 gorgeous books, bound in batik fabrics with foiled spines

On my first day of grade seven, my teacher, after handing out our math text books, asked us to wrap them in craft paper to protect them from the inevitable wear and tear they would endure throughout the year. UK-based artist Yinka Shonibare has taken the textbook request to the extreme. 


A new installation called The British Library has opened at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery  Until May 25, visitors can see 10,000 books that have been covered with wax batik fabric that Yinka designed himself. Yinka’s hope for the library was to make visible the cultural influences of colonization, and to celebrate immigrants and their contributions to British Culture. 

Book artist Louise Best helped wrap some of the thousands of books in bright Dutch and African fabrics. "Those colours contributed to our happiness and well being as well as all the mugs of tea, chocolate bourbons and custard creams we consumed for 8 hours a day. It was a great job and expertly executed even if I do say so myself. I'm in my element surrounded by books, fabric, glue and scissors. And nice people,” said Louise.  

To read Louise’s full blog post, click here. 

   Tea, biscuits, old books, and life stories. A glorious way to spend an afternoon or 1000 years as far as I am concerned.