Cabinet of Curiosities

Old Mining Building, University of Leeds

8th – 19th March 2010
Curated by Louise Atkinson
Artist book Collective Cabinet of Curiosities

For the 13th Leeds International Book Fair, Artist Book Collective was invited by organizer Chris Taylor to present Cabinet of Curiosities, an exhibition of relational bookworks by local, national and international artists. The focus of the exhibition was a large cabinet with 14 drawers. 


Each drawer contained site-specific work by a different artist, pushing the boundaries of book art through the use of found objects, text, audio, sculpture and photography. Instructions were provided as part of, or alongside artworks, producing an interactive element to encourage the audience to contribute to the creation and dissemination of the work. 

By bringing together text, performance and collaborative practice, the work also referenced previous art movements including Surrealism and Fluxus and was complimented by additional bookworks exploring interaction and collaboration. 

During the Friday of that weekend I’d been helping to man a stall at the Leeds International Artist Book Fair with the Northern Young Artists. It was inspiring to be surrounded by so many talented people and their work. I came away feeling motivated and energised to make new books. I’d love to have bought things too, but decided to stick to just looking, because there was just too much choice.

That evening, I opened the Cabinet of Curiosities show, which had an excellent response. The theme had been developed in response to the need for a more fluid transistion between interpretation and exhibition models. It was amazing to see people engaging so much at a private view, and throughout the evening the space was overwhelmed with people interacting with the work. To see a full list of artists and their work, visit the Cabinet of Curiosities page on the ABC blog.