When is a book not a book? Take eight artists, leave them in a field, a street, a wood, hospital, graveyard, or an abandoned, industrial folly. Leave them to explore, then send them away, and tell them to create.

Do all this, and they might just win an award when they’ve finished.

Pen traced bus journeys, poems laced with expletives and read from a pulpit, pages filmed, blowing in the wind, keys tossed into a stream, condolences written to memories.

Tell 8 artists to pick a place, then leave them to create all these things, and much more.

When is a city not a city? Litter the city of Leeds with 8 artists, and allow it to tend to their hopes. Wait while those artists suckle on the spires and paving slabs.

This is what the Place and Memory mentors did, and so, the artists delivered.

When is a book not a book? When it is a work of art in itself. When it is late night creating; painful as vinegar poured onto papercut. When it is the breathless, spent love of creating art.

The Place and Memory book will be a lost night of despair, in an echoing hospital corridor, it will be preteen escapes from the drudgery of a council estate, it will be letters cut out, and wrapped around the pillars in a church, it will be paper glued to slate, it will be a wind up gramophone, it will be maps, attached to perspex tubes. The Place and Memory book will be so much more than a book; it will be a city.

Nigel Stone

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