Five books in a box

This custom-made box was commissioned by the Goethe Institut Irland  to commemorate a conference it hosted in Dublin on ‘Future Libraries’. This conference was attended by librarians, writers, academics and others, to discuss and imagine what a library could be. As part of the event, they commissioned several people, including Irish novelist Mia Gallagher, to respond to the theme.

I wanted to create something that would capture the past and also the future of books, reflecting this somehow in the piece. I decided to create a highly interactive fold-out box that draw the viewer in. There are five texts in this box: three of them are historical bindings – a handscroll, a limp leather binding and an accordion book; the other two are very modern/futuristic bindings – an origami star book and a flexagon book. All of them fit snugly into this custom-made box, which is covered using the official Goethe Institut colours.

One of the books is a flexagon artist’s book. This book is a collection of words gathered at the conference on the theme of ‘Future Libraries’. These words are on old library card paper - hinting back to their origin. It has hidden panels which rotate and change, depending on how you open each page.

I was excited and honoured to hear that this piece will be the first piece in the new Goethe Institut library on Merrion Square in Dublin.