In 2016 artist Ella Phillips worked with teacher Helen Roberts and Year 4 at Vittoria Primary School on the exhibition Imagine Islington. Ella supported Helen to design and deliver a 5 workshop programme for the classroom, inspired by the Joe Orton book covers held by Islington Museum.
Ella also worked alongside the pupils in their classroom to create her own new artwork inspired by the book covers and the pupils.
Why we chose the book covers:
‘As an artist, I often work digitally and found the materiality of the objects appealing.
I was interested in how different places invoke certain behaviours and how Orton & Halliwell chose to subvert this within the library space. I wanted to create a connection between their history and contemporary culture, through playing with the idea of ‘hacking as a method of cutting and technological subversion. What does changing an image or text with your own ideas, say about ownership and personal agency? Collage offered an effective way to explore this, with children of all abilities able to make impacting images quickly.
Pupils created an installation, Library: Hacked:
Each student created ‘hacked’ text, book jacket covers and concertina books. These were put together alongside their ‘spliced portraits’ to create a topsy-turvy library.
Bringing together all of these elements, the class created a library installation with our own ridiculous rules to help you understand how to behave! Look around and you might see our spliced portraits, but nothing is as it seems in the ‘Library: Hacked’.
Ella created While Reading
This installation was composed of a hand carved book, created from a hacked library text with a video nestled inside. From the book was a pair of headphones playing a video. Sense and nonsense, everybody is welcome!