We just returned from London and among other things came over to the British Library. One of the things that attracted our attention was a relatively recent exhibition Writing: Making
We just returned from London and among other things came over to the British Library. One of the things that attracted our attention was a relatively recent exhibition Writing: Making Your Mark.
Below you’ll find a snippet from the official description. Scroll down to see what we thought after visiting the exhibition.
Discover the extraordinary story behind one of humankind’s greatest achievements: through more than 100 objects spanning 5,000 years and seven continents
Follow the remarkable evolution of writing from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs carved in stone and early printed text such as William Caxton’s edition of The Canterbury Tales, to the art of note-taking by some of history’s greatest minds, and onwards to the digital communication tools we use today.
Marvel at centuries of human innovation as writing enabled progress and opened doors to expression and art. Items as diverse as James Joyce’s collection of notes for his novel Ulysses and a 60,000-strong petition against Bengali partition, sit alongside Burmese tattooing instruments and a new take on typography by the Russian artist El Lissitzky to illustrate how writing allows us to enact change and make a lasting creative mark of our own.
Our interactive exhibition gives you the chance to reflect on works of genius that wouldn’t exist without the writing traditions of civilisations past. Be dazzled by gold-laden Japanese calligraphy. Study Mozart’s musical flourishes. Pore over Alexander Fleming’s pioneering notebook. Each of these written records carries the history of writing in their every stroke.
Finally, reflect on writing’s future and the role you’ll play in an increasingly digital world. Will we abandon pens and keyboards for voice and video messaging, or continue to carry the traditions of ancient times with us? Consider what sort of writer you are and leave us with some final words of your own.
The overall impression this exhibition had on us was a bit underwhelming. Maybe we didn’t realize its scope, but it seems to be a bit too sketchy. Yes, it gives some understanding of the evolution of writing and the latter systems of transferring information. But compared to things we’ve seen in many other exhibitions dedicated to the history of printing and writing, it seems to be lacking detail.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many marvelous objects exhibited there. If you have a chance to go there and 14 pounds to spare, we would definitely recommend visiting Writing: Making Your Mark. Just don’t get your expectations to become too inflated.
It is an excellent educational exhibition, as well. If you don’t have any knowledge on the history of writing, it will give you a good review from the ancient times, to modern technologies.
Unfortunately, the British Library has ‘no photography’ policy at their exhibitions, so we cannot share with you any of the things shown either at Writing: Making Your Mark, or at any other of the exhibitions working at the moment. However, some of the objects may be available at the digitized web archive of the library. It’s just so much easier to find things if you have a chance to at least take photos of information cards.
- Dates: 26.04.2019 – 27.08.2019
- Full price: £14.00
- Free for members
- Catalog: £40.00 for the hardbound version and something like £26.00 for the softcover version.
- Website: https://www.bl.uk/events/writing-making-your-mark
Top image provided by the British Library. Copyright: Tony Antoniou