Started as a joint exhibition between 26 and the V&A, launched during London Design Festival in 2010, it grew to involve 104 writers paired with 104 objects in four national museums across the UK. Each writer was paired with an object and asked to write a response to it. But instead of the factual kind of description you’d normally expect to find with an artefact in a museum, the writers were asked to be creative and harness the power of words to bring the objects alive. And they had to do it in exactly 62 words – no more no less.
I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 26 writers to work on the Welsh part of the project, and not only have the pleasure of being introduced to my treasure (a book of very early photographs of Native American peoples by Edward S. Curtis) at the wonderful National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, but also seeing my words translated into Welsh by Siôn Aled Owen.
Soon, the idea came about that the sestudes (a term 26 coined for the 62-word pieces) produced should live on after the exhibitions and be immortalised in a book. With the help of crowd-funding publisher Unbound, the many subscribers who pledged their money, and the wonderful design skills of Sam Gray, Fabric, the idea became a reality – the 26 Treasures book.
You can find out more about the project and the book launch in my blog post for Stranger Collective’s Feed.