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Beyond Words

An Exciting Artist Commissioning Project

Launched over Freedom Festival 2016, Beyond Words is a Freedom Festival Arts Trust artist commissioning project curated by Book Works.

The project began with 6 newly commissioned publications including books, zines, chap books, pamphlets and postcards from national emerging artists discussing themes of Freedom. The work was exhibited in Hull Central Library throughout September 2016 alongside a one day Artists’ book fair and a series of open workshops in book making.

Throughout the Autumn and Winter two selected artists took up residency in Hull’s History Centre and Wilberforce Institute of Slavery and Emancipation, which led to the second event from the Beyond Words project in April 2017.  This second exhibition brought together the work of the two residency artists Helen Cammock and Hannah Dawn Henderson along side highly accomplished artist Lubaina Himid, all of whom were commissioned to create Artists’ Books that address themes of freedom. The impressive multi-media exhibition featured the three publications alongside a series of new paintings from Himid and films, prints and projections from the residency artists. Through their new work the exhibition collectively discussed issues of cultural history, identity, historical referencing, migration and the impact of these on individuals and society as a whole.

From 1 – 27 September 2017, the final part of this year-long commissioning project took place in WISE, bringing together the full collection of artists’ books and exhibits that we have worked with Book Works to commission over the past 18 months. This final exhibition brought all the commissions together in one place for the first time, and celebrated the release of the final publication and addition to the collection by artist Ruth Ewan. 

The full Beyond Words collection of the 10 new publications can now be found in the reference sections of all of Hull’s libraries. 

The project has been realised and inspired thank to the excellent ongoing support of Hull Library services, The James Reckitt Library Trust, WISE and The History Centre.