This collaborative project is between makers, artists, designers and writers at Manchester School of Art and Manchester Writing School, in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The Portico Library’s collection of books provides the rich source of inspiration for new works in material, visual and written form. Working in partnerships, a dialogue and exchange of ideas has taken place where original texts have been translated into an assemblage of new conversa­tions in text, performance, objects and other visual artefacts. The interpretations offer contemporary perspectives on the historical concerns on The Portico Library’s shelves: from journeys of scientific discovery to chroni­cles of social change; from details of the natural world to reflections on human conditions, and from colonialism’s conflicts to revolutions in technology, industry and education.

The catalogue, designed by Jonathan Hitchen, is an artistic object in itself, and acts as a summation of the varied subjects, different approaches, catalogue of references and assorted authors. It also serves as a map to locate the exhibits and partnerships, which are dispersed around the Portico Library.

Taking part;  Louise Adkins & Nikolai Duffy, Kirsteen Aubrey & Alice Kettle, Lucy Biggs & Conrad Williams, Sian Bonnell & Nicholas Royle, Eleanor Byrne & Joe McCullagh, David Cooper & Lesley Raven, Stephen Dixon & Berthold Schoene, Paul Evans, Teresa Holtom & Hazel Jones, Rachel Genn & Amanda Ravetz, Sharon Handley & Jonathan Hitchen, Edmund Keefe & David Penny, Desdemona McCannon & Eleanor Mulhearn, Ian McCullough, Jane McKeating & Helen Mort, Matthew Carlin

Supported by Manchester Metropolitan University, The Zochonis Charitable Trust , G.F. Smith