A giant book-shaped bed, set in a night-time dreamscape, will form the centrepiece of the first exhibition to take place at Peckham Platform – formerly Peckham Space – as it launches in January 2014. Bookbed, a solo show from local contemporary artist Ruth Beale will explore learning, imagination and the book-as-symbol alongside current thinking in culture, education and public space.
Beale has been collaborating with Peckham Library, the iconic building next door to the gallery, on a series of creative writing workshops for young people. With the help of poet and storyteller Sandra Agard, they have been exploring dreams, aspirations and imagination. These workshops will continue throughout the exhibition.
Beale sees the exhibition as a celebration of the library’s success at a time when across the country and in nearby London boroughs, libraries and the services they provide are under threat:
“Libraries are one of the few meeting points between society and the individual, public and private. However mediated, they represent more than the sum of their parts because they offer us both practical services and the potential for educational and cultural development on our own terms. Like all public services, their value is being scrutinised in financial terms, and I wonder if that symbolic power can ever be measured. Working with young people at Peckham Library – actually a real success story – will be an opportunity to use the library as a creative space, and to explore these concepts of the book and library in the collective imagination.”
Thanks to Lorna Ritchie, David Fryer and Uncle Ned’s Beds.