Illustrator Ben Davis has captured Footscray Library’s place as the beating heart of the colourful suburb.
Davis last year undertook an eight-week artistic residency based in the Artsbox shipping container outside the library, using his time to quietly observe the ways people used the space and sketching his observations along the way.
The illustrator said his art attempts to find the humanity in the tiny moments that might otherwise pass us all by.
“I’d spend the mornings and sometimes afternoons sketching in the library, using mostly pen and ink,” he said.
“Knowing that I could take my time to draw and observe meant I felt free to organically follow whatever track the people of the library took me down that particular day.”
This included children playing chess in the courtyard, a group knitting scarves and beanies and a man lounging on a bean bag reading the newspaper.
The illustrations grew to become The Library Book, a collection of drawings and musings reflecting on the many different ways the library is used by the community.
“During my residency, I came to recognise the regular library goers who often visited daily to read the newspaper, use the internet or study for exams and I started to understand just how integral the library is in its support of the community,” Davis said.
The Library Book will be launched at Footscray Library at 3pm Wednesday with an afternoon tea and a talk by Davis about how the book came together.