Imagine a Library

Imagine a Library

Wed 21 July 2021 

A discussion with Amelia Barratt, our Annotations II artist in residence, and Sofia Niazi, artist, illustrator and contributor to the publication The Library Was, as they celebrate and re-imagine the function of ‘the library’.

Sofia Niazi presents drawing as a medium for creating a speculative library catalogue system that relies on intuition and preference, as a way of creating new channels into knowledge. Amelia Barratt discusses her experience working with the Drawing Room’s Study Library collection, discovering the voice of the library and its rich potential as a space for sound and storytelling.

About the artists

Amelia Barratt (b.1989, Reading) lives and works in London. She studied BA Painting and Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art (2011) and received an MFA from Slade School of Art, London (2016). Performance works have recently been shown at Seventeen, London (2020); Live Art Development Agency, London (2019); Museum of London (2018); Cubitt Gallery, London (2018); Glasgow International (2018); Assembly Point, London (2018); Edinburgh College of Art (2017); and CCA, Glasgow (2017). Selected group exhibitions include Artists I Steal From, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London (2019); The Dark Wood, Transition Gallery, London (2017); All Day Breakfast: Selected Works on Paper, Reading International, Reading (2017); The Small Press Project, University College London, London (2016).

Barratt’s Annotations II (link) project connects drawing with the voice, sound and the written word. It revolves around an elusive librarian, a rendition of a character frequently used in Barratt’s written work. She is anachronistic, fearful, droll and finely tuned to the minutiae of her everyday environment. 

Sofia Niazi is an artist and illustrator working and living between London and Birmingham. She completed an MA in illustration at Kingston University. As part of OOMK, she currently runs a community Risograph print studio in Newham, Rabbits Road Press, with studio mates Rose Nordin and Heiba Lamara. She employs various digital, hand drawn and traditional craft techniques in her work and is currently exploring themes around housing and technology. Sofia has produced work for South London Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Museum of London, Barbican and The Guardian, amongst others. She regularly leads workshops and delivers talks about her work in community, gallery and academic settings.

Amelia BarrattLibrarian 1Courtesy the artist 2020