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BA Sculpture student wins Penguin Little Black Classics competition

Written by
Sarah McLean
Published date
27 February 2015
Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls as Kingfishers Catch Fire by Emma Marks, 2015

Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls as Kingfishers Catch Fire by Emma Marks, 2015

Camberwell BA Sculpture student Emma Marks is one of four winners of a recent competition run by famous publishing house Penguin to launch their new range of books entitled Penguin Little Black Classics.

Students and recent graduates from Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon were invited to make exciting, sculptural artworks out of books inspired by the release of 80 titles including works by Dante and Dickens, Plato, Austen and Oscar Wilde.

Each of the four winning artists has received a prize of £200, and the selected artworks are now exhibited in the windows of London’s Foyle’s bookstore.

Speaking about her winning artwork, Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls as Kingfishers Catch Fire, Emma said “Creating this work for Penguin has been a valuable experience in working to a commission. When I read the brief, I was excited by the idea that each book embodies its own story and how extraordinary it is to bring these diverse narratives together. In the work, I used domestic, everyday materials (books, copper pipes and stories) to create ambiguous objects evoking a conflation of the ordinary and a sense of wonder.”

“The copper pipes reference the idea of the journey of language through Penguin Classics literature that spans eras, continents, fact, fiction, the ordinary and the extraordinary. The little books are beautiful objects in themselves. I let their design feed the aesthetic and feel of the work. Within the work the books are arranged playfully, allowing new combinations of titles, suggesting the possibilities for new narratives within this cornucopia of classic literature.”

Emma Marks' artwork on display in the window of Foyle's bookstore

Emma Marks’ artwork on display in the window of Foyle’s bookstore.

The works will be on display at Foyles for at least a month, before travel to other locations over the next year.

Find out more about BA Sculpture at Camberwell on our course pages.