Last year, Central Bedfordshire Council Libraries in partnership with Bedford Creative Arts, won Arts Council England funding to commission eight artists to imagine what a library of the future could be. The result is the Library as Laboratory project and 3 new projects.
A festival like no other, Artists Rosalie Schweiker, Ania Bas and David Littler are hosting these 3-day events at Flitwick and Biggleswade Library. Working with the communities around each library the artists will be asking the question ‘What does the library of the future look like?
They artists explained, “We see libraries as a vital community resource. They are one of the last remaining free social spaces. Spaces that allow you to sit down, relax, enjoy, discover and learn. However, with recent closures across the country it is clear that libraries are under threat. This festival will explore with everyone the possibilities for libraries beyond books and how they could be an inclusive space for all”
Future Libraries Festival is the second of three art commissions, making up the Library As Laboratory project, and Flitwick has already enjoyed a successful three-day event, with comedy headlined by multi award-winning Bedfordshire stand-up Simon Munnery, plus music, film, food, debate and more.
Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “We had some great feedback from the Flitwick festival so I’m sure that B-Festival will bring a similar sense of excitement to Biggleswade. The town has such a rich history and it seems entirely fitting that we use the library to explore this past, plus pioneering people like Dan Albone, in order to move towards a new future for this service, there and all over Central Bedfordshire.”
Meet the Artists
David is an artist and DJ based in Knaresborough who brings his passions for textiles and sound together in his work. He is known for Sampler Culture Clash, an ongoing exploration of embroidery and song. His recent project Yan Tethera, with The English Folk Dance and Song Society celebrated the making of textiles and textile related folk songs through making textiles, creating new songs and singing events.
Ania is a Polish artist based in London. Her work is inspired by every day life. For one project, Literary Cutlery, at B-side festival in Portland, Dorset she based herself at the Sugar Loaf Café and created micro stories with the café customers and staff. The tiny stories of love, loss and hope were engraved on the café cutlery and now each fork, knife and spoon together tell a story.
Rosalie is a conceptual artist who uses social exchanges such as conversations, economic transactions and jokes to find new functions for art in society. Inherent in the work is a playful humour that makes knowable the unwritten rules by which social systems operate. Since Rosalie’s focus is on the communicative effects of art, most of her work leaves hardly any material trace.