Artist paints unseen moments from Suffolk libraries
- Credit: Suffolk Libraries
An online art exhibition offers a unique insight into what libraries were like before and during the Covid-19 crisis.
Suffolk Libraries joined forces with local illustrator and printmaker Sandy Horsley, who spent a year regularly visiting 13 Suffolk libraries to capture unseen moments between customers and staff.
The project began in 2019 but had to be put on hold in the first lockdown, when libraries were closed - with Sandy continuing to visit libraries once they reopened.
Her work has therefore turned into a unique snapshot of how library staff and customers coped and adapted during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sandy said: “In month six of the project, we had to pause because of the Covid-19 pandemic but, after the first lockdown, restrictions were relaxed and libraries were able to open again.
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“So, there I was in the library sketching in my mask and visor. What I observed was very moving.
“Customers were obviously really pleased to be back in the library and speak to someone and get some support.
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“It really brought home the importance of libraries and the additional services they offer.
“Throughout the lockdown, libraries were invaluable in being that fourth emergency service.
“They are extraordinary places, run by and visited by extraordinary people.”
Sandy’s work is being exhibited at Ipswich County Library.
As people are currently not allowed to view it in person, it can be accessed by the interactive virtual exhibition.