Artists talking - Clare Boothby

Back in 2012 artist Clare Boothby wrote to us about her first thoughts on opening the parcel from The Library of Lost Books...


"My parcel arrived last weekend. I'd been living in anticipation ever since I heard I'd been accepted, and trying not to spend too much time looking at the Library's flickr stream and getting attached to the idea of any one book. I like anticipation, but I am not very good at it, so I lasted about 5 minutes before opening the jiffy bag to find that the

Librarian had thoughtfully provided me with another, rather prettier, layer of anticipation.

I opened this layer to find not one but two small hardback books - an unmatched pair. They're two from a series of German monographs on art and artists, both by the same author, though they've been rebound by the library at different times so now they don't match any more.


One is about Botticelli, and the other about Andrea Del Sarto (currently unknown to me). They're really beautiful books; crisply printed in black and red, with lots of plates. (Botticelli is image on the left) - just look at that glorious title page, and the illustration has been glued in by hand.

...I have no idea what to do with these yet. I have gone from anticipation, through the slight disappointment that always comes with turning a possibility into an actuality, to love for my books (I carry them up and down stairs to sit next to me whilst I work or sleep) and the hope that I can change them in a way that is worthy of them and of the Library. As a hopeless romantic I love the infinite possibilities which an unknown thing presents and dislike closing off options or being channelled in a particular direction. However as a practical person I know that inspiration comes much more easily when there are constraints to react to and rules to play within.
I have actual books now, and that brings me some constraints. Now I need to do some thinking and some research and see if I can narrow my thoughts down to a single idea, and after that I need to work out how to implement that idea in a way which restores its life and will inspire others."


Which Is Not To Say by Clare Boothby
Which Is Not To Say by Clare Boothby

(photo credits Clare Boothby and David Knight)

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