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Swiss Cottage Gallery

Sextodecimo 2011 -2014 Exhibition:

14 September - 12 October

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the opening of Swiss Cottage Library, artist Elizabeth Wright has curated an exhibition inspired by Sir Basil Spence’s 1964 design of the Library. This new exhibition re-presents Sextodecimo (2011), copying the Library's distinctive exterior concrete fins, alongside Writing table (2014) and three sculptural models.

Display Panel images selected by In Conversation speakers (see below). Image: Jonathan Murphy

Writing table (2014) remodels one of the interior furnishings that the architect Sir Basil Spence designed for the library in 1964. Nine copies of the writing table will be dispersed around the library to be used for study. Originally designed for writing by hand, the now digitally manufactured tables will support the production of digital text, made on the laptop computer, as used by the majority of library users. Three additional tables will act as supports for three sculptural models of the library. These will be plaster casts of laptops, and made in the form of the library exterior. The MacBook Air computer will be copied, as its shape replicates the fin design that runs around the building’s exterior.

These models will be placed either side of the main staircase under the newly renovated Sir Basil Spence designed display panels. Motionless, the models and their table supports will mirror the continuous performance taking place in the surrounding spaces, as the library users, type on their laptops, rested on the Sir Basil Spence model tables.

Writing table (2014) Image: Jonathan Murphy

An ‘In Conversation’ event at the Swiss Cottage Library will focus on how information is currently housed. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the building originally designed by the architect Sir Basil Spence. Academics from the Central Saint Martins School of Art at the University of the Arts London and the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff University will directly respond to the shift in how information is substantively located in Basil Spence’s design of Swiss Cottage Library and consider whether this relationship can be found in current information networks and hard drives.

Tuesday 11th November, 4- 6pm, Events Room, Swiss Cottage Library


Louisa Minkin, artist and academic

Dr Daniel Rubinstein, critical theorist and artist

Samuel Woodford, PHD researcher

Chair: Elizabeth Wright, artist and academic

Swiss Cottage Gallery Visitor Information

Admission: FREE
Opening times: Mon-Thu 10am-8pm
Fri-Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 11am-4pm

Swiss Cottage Library and Gallery
88 Avenue Rd, London, NW3 3HA

The Gallery Programme

Solo exhibitions by artists and arts organisations based and/or working in the borough area- and beyond- reflecting the contemporary visual arts community of Camden and the visual art and design institutions in the borough.
• Exhibitions that draw attention to the artistic history of Camden and artists that have lived or worked in the borough.
• Regular exhibitions to mark local or national initiatives such as the WW1 centenary or Open House.
• Annual Open Open exhibition, usually in July, which is open to all including professional and non-professional artists alike. For more details and to be added to the mailing list, in order to be notified of this year’s Open Open dates, contact

Swiss Cottage Gallery policy and guidance

download: Swiss Cottage Gallery policy and guidance (PDF 53KB)

For more information and to contact the Gallery, email 

Recent Events

Open Open Exhibition 2014

Open Open

Beyond Seizures: An Exhibition by people with epilepsy, scientists and artists
Beyond Seizures
Another Way of Reading: An Exhibition from the Zabludowicz Collection & Swiss Cottage Gallery in PartnershipDog with KFC bucket on head, copyright courtesy of the artist
Past, Present, Future: Works from Camden's Art CollectionSwiss Cottage Gallery, by VJ VonArt copyright courtesty of the artist
Winter Selection from Camden's Art Collection
The Snow Quilt by Phil Greenwood
2013 Open Open featuring 92 pieces of art painting in the gallery

Page last updated Sep 19, 2014 1:51 PM

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