Library Background

Guestroom was commissioned by Grizedale Arts to make a library as part of the development of the Lawson Park building.

Shelving, a table and screenprinted wallpaper were designed based on ideas of crossover and fluidity within structures and based on a pattern of interacting line and colour. One aspect important to this library is the portable shelving units which allow the library to travel in smaller sections to various locations and over various time scales. One of these locations is the Coniston Institute Library where a collection of locally-made films will be held on a permanent basis.

We decided to make a specialist library focusing on the work of Grizedale Arts and so categorised the books, films and ephemera in relation to the themes of specific Grizedale Arts projects. The library has 5 main categories as well as 1 category added by Guestroom called Ways of Living that will continue to evolve.
These categories are:

Live in the Forest (incl. history of Grizedale Arts, Sculpture and Land Art, Landscape/Nature/Natural History, projects predating 'Roadshow')

Roadshow (incl. Alternative Culture, Folklore, travelling shows and temporary constructions, TV and broadcasting, preaching, Religion and salvation, failed Ideologies)

Romantic Detachment (incl. Romanticism, Americana, Blaxploitation, Soul Music, Pilgrimage)

Food/Stacking/Samurai (incl. ideas of usefulness, cooking, farming and gardening, Happystacking in China, Seven Samurai in Japan, sustainability, engaged practice)

Cumbriana Proof (incl. Localism, Lakeland Culture, Arts and Craft movement, Ruskin, Coniston Water Festival, Creative Egremont)

Ways of Living (incl. journeys and travel, biographies, ideas of freedom and transformation/proposals for how to live)

Ways of Living looks at concepts and motivations of how we live, ideas of freedom and transformation. It is designed to grow and evolve as a special interest collection of Guestroom while its content also reflects on the nature and pursuit of a built environment such as Lawson Park Farm.

Guestroom worked in collaboration with Dorian Moore to develop this website as an important addition to the actual library. Through the website you will be able to access the library database, comment and tag material, see what events are taking place in both Lawson Park library and the local village library in the Coniston Institute and link to interesting and relevant National and International library sites and to other book and reading projects.

Guestroom was a project by Ruth Höflich and Maria Benjamin founded in London in 2002 working with collective formations and the idea of evolving artistic practice and process.

This project has been generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Arts Council England.