Freedom Festival 2017

Book Works: Beyond Words

Ten new books by national artists, each exploring themes of Freedom.

Ten new books by national artists, each exploring themes of Freedom are now available to read at Hull’s Libraries as an exciting year-long commissioning project by Freedom Festival Arts Trust comes to fruition.

The Beyond Words project began in September 2016 when an open call was put out for artists to take part in a 12-month commissioning project by Freedom Festival Arts Trust.

Curated by London-based publishers Book Works and supported by the James Reckitt Library Trust and Hull Culture and Leisure, the ten books explore cultural history, identity, historical referencing, migration and the impact on individuals and society as a whole.

Available to view at Freedom Festival 2017, Year 8 students from the Boulevard Academy visited Western Library to view the collection and to create their own words and pictures about what freedom means to them.

Beyond Words Producer, Lindsay Stockley, spoke to students about the project which includes work by artist Lubaina Himid – winner of this year’s Turner Prize – alongside nine other national artists, who were each commissioned to make new work.

Students from The Boulevard Academy explored what freedom means to them in 2018 and expressed their thoughts through poetry, illustrations and spoken word. Prevalent themes included the freedom to be yourself physically and emotionally and to be accepted for who you are, alongside the freedom to education and opportunities to pursue your chosen career.

Mikey Martins, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, explained: “We want to challenge and support artists both locally and internationally to make more interesting work and to challenge the notion of Freedom.

“Hull has many forms of Freedom in its bones. Our work throughout the year is about this. You’ll see more exhibitions, more visual art, more debate and discussions as a fundamental part of how we explore freedom.

“It is great to be able to take this work of national significance to local schoolchildren and to encourage conversations about Freedom from a young age.”