Colourful artwork spells out an important message at Hawthorn Library

Hawthorn Library boasts a piece of artwork that promotes reading and beautifies the library space. Staff at Hawthorn Library share how the idea came together.

The proposal that lead to the creation of the READ sign began with an idea of how to beautify the outdoor space at the back of the Hawthorn Library as you walk in. You used to be able to see the garden in the church next door but as soon as a fence was put up it became not such a lovely view.

The original plan was conceived by Julianne Negri and Robyn Hayhurst at Hawthorn Library. They wanted something simple and bright that would involve the local community. The word was sent out to library borrowers, staff, and local kindergartens and schools for bottle tops and got a huge response.

Some of the students at St Joseph’s Primary school, the children at Hawthorn Early Years Preschool and the preschool storytime kids did a fabulous job sorting many of the bottle tops into colour groups.

Robyn and Julianne designed the sign and put together the ‘R’. Then in October 2018, the Library was lucky enough to have Naomi Bishop as their Artist in Residence in collaboration with the Town Hall Gallery.

Naomi has been exhibiting internationally since graduating in 2003 with a Masters of Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in London. Her work is represented in the collections of The Whitechapel Gallery, La Banque Postale, Rachel Whiteread, and Pierre Pradié, and private collections in the France, Spain, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Her work has also featured in FAINT Magazine, Gallery magazine (NGV), Elle Decoration and Tèlérama (France) and Time Out and The Guardian (UK).

Many thanks to Robyn Hayhurst, Julianne Negri, all the other staff who contributed, all the children who helped, Naomi Bishop and Bridget Flood for organising the collaboration.

To find opening hours for Hawthorn Library visit our Contact the Library page.


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