book art exhibition by Linda Toigo


21 APRIL – 9 MAY 2015

during Library opening hours

Westminster Reference Library

35 St. Martin’s Street

WC2H 7HP London

Private View:

21st April 2105

18:30 – 20:30

Book artist Linda Toigo presents ‘Guides to Elsewhere’, her new exhibition of imaginary landscapes carved into books, displayed in the evocative setting of Westminster Reference Library, London.

Like a geologist from a miniature planet, Toigo excavates complex landscapes of paper and words from old volumes; layer upon layer, her scalpel transforms the pages into valleys and mountains, cliffs and caves.

Together with recent book alterations, her new exhibition works with literary descriptions of imaginary places modelled out of discarded Lonely Planets.

Having triumphantly led their readers on memorable adventures around the globe, these familiar travel guides are often forgotten, destined to retire to the back of a dusty bookshelf. Obsolete after a few years, they are kept only as nostalgic souvenirs of past achievements. Toigo’s work transforms them back into powerful tools for transcendent travels.

Many writers have indulged in describing imaginary universes and undefined lands vaguely linked to themes of escape and dreams. These are oftentimes places of richness, beauty, unconscious fears and unbearable secrets. These terrains are created in a desire to transport the reader beyond the tangible reality of time and space, enabling them to face and examine humankind from an abstract dimension. Since these spaces do not exist in reality, they are open to countless visual interpretations; Guides to Elsewhere is one of such.

In the exhibition we venture into the obscure forest of Dante’s mind, into the impossible buildings of Borges’ Immortal City, and into a tangle of streets of Calvino’s invisible city Zobeide.

The imaginary places – chosen from personal readings and fascinations – have been analysed and represented using various approaches and techniques of alteration; claustrophobic vortexes, towering structures, and colourful creatures propagate from the covers of the travel guides, tempting the viewer to dive into their compact worlds.


A workshop on book alteration will be hosted on two sessions during the exhibition: 28th April and 6th May from 6 to 7:45.

It is advisable but not necessary to come to both sessions.
Book your place here (places are free but limited so hurry up!)

28th April 6th May

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