July 8, 2014
Book-shaped benches bring literature to the streets of London
by Christopher King
A new partnership between the UK’s National Literacy Trust and the public arts organization Wild in Art aims to brighten up British streets with colorful illustrations inspired by classics of British literature.
Books About Town exhibits the talents of fifty local artists, who have designed benches with subjects ranging from The Canterbury Tales to Fever Pitch and everything in between. On the accompanying website, book lovers can find maps for walking tours to explore the history of literary London, and throughout the summer, the benches will be host to giveaways, contests, and events, including an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people dressed as Sherlock Holmes.
At the end of the summer, all fifty sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for the National Literacy Trust.
Below, check out a slideshow of some of the many beautiful illustrations created for the event.
1984, illustrated by Thomas Dowdeswell
War Horse, illustrated by Rae Smith/Gerard Strong
Time Machine, illustrated by Di Ralston
Sherlock Holmes stories, illustrated by Valerie Osment
Shakespeare’s London, illustrated by Lucy Dalzell
Samuel Pepys’s Diary, illustrated by Michele Petit-Jean
Peter Pan, illustrated by Laura Elizabeth Bolton
Mrs. Dalloway, illustrated by One Red Shoe
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, illustrated by Quad Digital/Mandii Pope
Jeeves and Wooster stories, illustrated by Gordon Allum
Fever Pitch, illustrated by Sophie Green
The Importance of Being Earnest, illustrated by Trevor Skempton
Christopher King is the former Art Director of Melville House.