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Why Word.Paper.Book?

They say you should never boil the same water twice, never look back….

But sometimes you just have to…

It’s eight years since the first Word.Paper.Book exhibition, and it’s high time we gave it another poke! It remains way up there on the leaderboard of the most fulfilling, rewarding, exciting and engaging things the Workhouse Chapel has had to offer.

It was a grand excuse to explore ‘other’ ideas and materials. It was playtime on steroids - an opportunity to leap out of my textile artist ‘box’ and run wild and wordy. I signed up to online courses, taught myself new skills, thought endlessly, acted on impulse. Total creative immersion in all things bookish, papery and wordy.

When the exhibition opened it became very clear that so many people only needed an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot nudgelet to tip them into renewed enthusiasms and neglected memories, to send them rushing home to create their own ‘Alphabet of Books that Shaped my Life’. One lovely lady made a return bus trip from Gillingham to bring me her collection of exquisite tiny handmade books for safekeeping. She had no-one who would want them when she was gone…. Every day brought tears, laughter, song, poetry, stories.

And now this little creative muscle that twitches constantly within, that will not be denied, dictates that I follow my wordy, papery, bookish instincts once more and pour all my energies into creating and curating a new WPB (I love that this is also the acronym for waste paper bin 😂 - you know how keen we are on rubbish and recycling here in the 🚾 ).

Books and words are often seen as the dry realm of learned academics; paper is just something to be casually thrown away (in the recycling bin of course), but I prefer to approach life, the universe and everything from a 42 degree angle - to creep up and catch things unawares. A mischievous and playful handmade approach makes everything so very much more interesting.

Kate and I have so many ideas! It will be a miracle if even half of them come to fruition, but we’re going to have so much fun trying.

Anyway… enough rambling on for now. I have much important work to do ;-) More musings as and when the muse dictates.

Rose 🌹

Alphabet nerd, bookworm, wordsmith, grammar pedant, occasional poet, brought up in a house groaning under the weight of books, taught to do the ‘big’ crossword before I knew what the answers meant (“Daddy, Daddy… is there such a word a sharpnel?”). I love playing with words, making books, cutting and glueing, folding, anagrams, puns, crosswords, dictionaries, ………

Worst Nightmare? Being without a notebook 😱

Worse Worst Nightmare? Being without a handmade notebook 😱😱

Even more Horribly Worse Worst Nightmare? Having a handmade notebook, but no pencil/pen. 😱😱😱 (I wonder…. was Edvard Munch really trying to draw a dog with glasses and floppy ears???? Maybe a spaniel….?)

Word.Paper.Book will be open 10- 4 every day from 22 April to 5 May, and then for another 5 weeks on Thursdays and Fridays only. There will also be Word.Paper.Book related workshops in the weeks after the exhibition.


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