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Oxfam Bookshop

I am a volunteer at an Oxfam Bookshop and the window display shelves needed re-doing. They had been spray painted silver for Christmas two years ago, and the book stands had been scratching away at the paint. The manager knowing my background asked if I would take it on - three, three-tiered shelving units.  I said yes, and I wanted to use the books as the basis for these shelves. Any books that would make nice collage but would otherwise have been recycled/pulped were put aside for me to use as I saw fit. I wanted to tie in some part of my practice and that was the collage element.


I wanted all three units to be quite different. So number one was collaged pages of World Who’s Who of Women 1960 Ed. Over which I had pasted circles of tissue paper cut out from all different colours. Much like A Very Hungry Caterpillar. Number two was using all different types of maps. The shelves had astronomical maps and the case had vintage world maps. For this unit I cut up the pieces into hexagons and tessellated them. The final unit is covered in comics. This one because of the comics has every colour imaginable. I kept it to kids comics for this one as the other two had quite a grown-up feel about them. I wanted to separate them by using Asterix and Obleix along with TinTin and old SMASH annuals.


The skills involved in this project were documentation and time management.


The reason for the time management was the fact that the units were too big to take home to work on so I had to work on them in the bookshop. I did not want to get in the way of the other volunteers as I would be doing this outside of my usual shifts, so I decided to work on them in the early mornings. Another reason was that when working on a unit, it was removed from the display meaning that there were fewer books on display for the customers to be enticed by and I did not want that to happen too much. So I tried to only have them gone from the window for about a week at a time.

Oxfam Bookshop
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