‘book’ 1996

‘book’ 1996

‘book’, is an exhibition piece that was first shown at Sunderland Arts and Libraries. It was commissioned for the “Visual Arts UK Initiative 1996″ by the City of Sunderland and the Arts Council England. It was made in collaboration with Nissan UK and Smith’s Electrical Vehicles. The concept ofbook’ is a celebration of the individuality and collectivism that make up the beauty, identity, and industry of The Art Studio. Photography is by Keith Pattison and Rob Sargent.  The selection of stories and art is by the Art Studio’s artists. The foreword is by Mark Little, who co-designed and co-edited ‘book’ alongside Derek Hill.



book was produced as a commission from the City of Sunderland Arts and Libraries as part of Visual Arts UK Initiatives 1996. The Art Studio was set up 10 years ago, in 1986.  In that time, it has become an internationally acclaimed resource for the production of art by people who have not followed traditional academic routes. It is a unique attempt to address the issues surrounding mental health and representational practices. It was established as part of an initiative by the Artist’s Agency in Sunderland to provide facilities and a creative environment for people who had been in long-term psychiatric care.

Since that time, it has become much more than that. Under the guidance of Derek Hill, The Art Studio has become an extraordinary forum for the discussion and development of good artistic practice outside of the usually restrictive regimes of the art establishment. Here, the artists decide what art is. Their work sets them apart because of the astonishing commitment that is invested in it. The art of the Art Studio is among the most vibrant and exciting currently being produced. This book, then, is more than a celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Art Studio; it is also an attempt to capture something intangible—the experience of a diverse environment and something of the wonderfully affirming spirit that inhabits it.

book’ is by no means a conventional book; it consists of an aluminium and stainless steel box (2.25m x 1.25m x 0.75m), in which 16 aluminium sheets are fastened to a series of aluminium runners that make up each of the pages.

Each page has been transferred to high-resolution colour density, dura-clear film, and fastened directly to the metal. When in the open position, the book’ measures 10 metres long.

Mark Little 1996


The Art Studio: https://www.derekhill.co.uk/work/item/the-art-studio/?cat=84

Collaborations: https://www.derekhill.co.uk/work/item/collaborations/?cat=84

Current paintings: https://www.derekhill.co.uk/work/cat/current-paintings/

Further information and book reviews: https://www.derekhill.co.uk/work/item/press-reviews/?cat=84