Yvette Hawkins

Book Apothecary: old suitcase with paper trailing from it

Book Apothecary

Yvette Hawkins is a British visual artist of Korean-English descent who makes installations and sculptural objects using books, maps and other found materials.  Yvette trained at Glasgow School of Art and graduated in Fine Art from Newcastle University in 2007.  She has had numerous group and solo exhibitions within the UK.  She also works to commission and has pieces in collections in Italy, Australia, Japan and USA.  Her work was included in Book Art: Iconic Sculptures and Installations Made From Books (2011).  Yvette is currently represented by Globe Gallery, UK and is lead artist on Book Apothecary.

Yvette makes tactile, engaging and textural sculptures and installations, which transform everyday useable and familiar materials into objects that explore suggestion and secrecy.  Her work is concerned with physical acts of looking, reading and listening, encouraging viewers to consciously be aware of their surroundings, controlling and manipulating the way things can be seen, read and heard.  She follows a socially engaged practice which often involves members of the public, who are encouraged to physically interact with the artwork at various stages of the making and presenting of work.

For example, Book Apothecary is a travelling artist book museum made by young people, emerging and established artists and curators.  Presented within a series of vintage suitcases and trunks, modified by furniture maker Nick James, the collection is made up of handmade books, installations and curious bookish objects made and inspired by the physical acts of reading: www.bookapothecary.co.uk

Her bookish sculptural objects hold in tension different ways of looking.  The framing of the objects in a pseudo-museum mode, along with the traditional function of text, plays with ideas of knowledge construction, and questions the relationship between object and, or as, text. As Stephen Greenblatt has observed: “the experience of wonder was not initially regarded as essentially or even primarily visual; reports of marvels had a force equal to the seeing of them… the great medieval collections of marvels are almost entirely textual.”  The unfinished quality of the sculptures parallels the artist’s relationship with the books and the eternal state of that quest for knowledge.  The collection is personal to the artist and, in its indecipherability, belies categorization by the viewer.  And yet onto it, the viewer can project their neglected paperbacks, those books gathering dust by the bedside table, and those that will continue to do so.  All the books that I have never finished.  And that we will now, never finish.

www.yvettehawkins.com

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