Text Outside a Book

Dorset Portland
02/06/2014 - 02/06/2014

A partnership project with Dorset Libraries.

Tophill Library and The Sugar Loaf Cafe welcomed b-side artists Ania Bas and Paul Soulellis.

Ania Bas based herself at The Sugar Loaf Cafe meeting café customers and staff and writing micro-narratives together. These micro-stories were engraved on The Sugar Loaf Café’s cutlery to be used on daily basis by unsuspecting customers. Forks and knives carry various narratives: fiction and true stories, tales of loss, hope and love. A spoon, a fork tells one story – a knife, a teaspoon another. 

During the month of June artist and designer Paul Soulellis was artist in residence at Portland Tophill Library collecting content and ideas for Portlander, a print-on-demand, community newsprint publication. Out and about on Portland including riding with the Mobile Library van Paul gathered material from Portland communities and designed a multi-layered, diverse expression of local life and history.

Creative writing, essays, folklore, photography, drawings, maps, digital art, found material, poetry and recipes all found their way to Paul and any residents of Portland were invited to contribute—regardless of age, education or artistic experience. Portlander is a participatory publication—all material contributed from residents was included and freely distributed back to residents and visitors during the b-side festival in September 2014.

During 2014 Festival both publications on paper and microfictions on cutlery had a platform at the festival and were seen and used by thousands of Festival visitors, as part of the 'Text Outside a Book' project b-side also hosted 'Lost in Words' by artist Lewis Gibson in Easton Gardens. Commissioned by Fuel Theatre this intimate and immersive installation in a garden shed takes visitors on an interactive journey through a good book.

 This project was funded by Arts Council Libraries Fund