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Founded in New York in 2011 and based in Liverpool since 2016, The Serving Library (TSL) is a non-profit organisation that serves as a publishing platform, a seminar room, a collection of framed objects, and an event space. The enterprise is rooted in a journal published biannually as Dot Dot Dot from 2000–10, Bulletins of The Serving Library from 2011–17, and now annually as The Serving Library Annual, released simultaneously online (for free) and in print (for a fee) every autumn.

This autumn Bonington Gallery will showcase TSL’s collection of framed objects; each one the source of an illustration that has appeared in one of the journals. The 100+ collection includes items as diverse as record sleeves, watercolours, woodcuts, polaroids, drawings, screen-prints, airbrush paintings, a car number plate, and a Ouija board. Together, these varied objects decorate the walls of the library to serve as a toolbox for teaching.

The space will be further populated by a new work by occasional Serving Library contributor David Osbaldeston, who – in response to a theme of translation – has produced a new series of images exploring how visual essentials such as black, white and repeating shapes progress through a sequence of depicted forms. As a system of signs that become open to subjective interpretation, each image is assisted by a single word, which could be seen either as an associative descriptor or erratic linguistic type.

Featured Items

Ahead of the exhibition we’ll be highlighting just a few of the 100+ framed objects that make up TSL collection over on our blog, along with the accompanying text from TSL’s website.

Exhibition photography courtesy of Jules Lister.

Bonington Vitrines are a series of micro exhibitions which take place within the Bonington Gallery Foyer. They comprise of three display cases which present a variety of objects, artworks and printed material.

Marbled Reams was a publishing project run by Bonington Gallery curator Tom Godfrey from 20092012. It involved inviting individuals to submit A4 works on paper that were reproduced to a value of 500 pages (a ‘ream’). The front edge of each paper stack was marbled and then pages were available to be purchased individually.

Certain artists challenged the confines of the project. Sam Gordon produced 500 different pages; Laura Aldridge made a double sided work; Mark Harasimowicz hand fed 500 pieces of newsprint into his home printer and Heike-Karin Föll made a five page work that is repeated through the ream.

The project has previously been exhibited at Limoncello, London; Donlon Books, London; The Modern Institute, Glasgow and CCA, Glasgow. It has also been presented at publishing fairs including Publish & Be Damned, London; Spike Island Book & Zine Fair, Bristol and Three Letter Words, London.

Featured Artists

Laura Aldridge, Jennifer Bailey, Aline Bouvy and John Gillis, Emma Cocker, Kimi Conrad, Sean Cummins, Sean Edwards, Ed Fella, Heike-Karin Föll, Dan Ford, Babak Ghazi, Sam Gordon, Mark Harasimowicz, David L. Hayles, Ann Cathrin November Høibo, Matt Jamieson, Scott King, Jon Knight, Piotr Łakomy, Sara MacKillop, David Newey, David Osbaldeston, Anna Parkina, James Richards, James E Smith, Jack Strange, Steven Warwick and Jean-Michel Wicker