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After Nyne Article About NLT Book Bench Project

December 2, 2014

Lovely Article on the Book Benches project for the National Literacy Trust"After 10 weeks on a public art trail in London, the National Literacy Trust’s 50 BookBench sculptures designed by famous artists, children’s illustrators and prominent local artists, went to auction last night on Tuesday 7 October 2014.Hosted by Sotheby’s auctioneerEdward Rising and attended by a host of illustrious literary names from Joanna Trollope to Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, the Books about Town auction was an absolutely fantastic evening which raised £251,500. The most popular BookBenches on the night were Jeeves and Wooster painted by Gordon Allumwhich sold for £9,500, ‘James Bond Stories’ painted by Freyja Dean which sold for £9,000 and ‘War Horse’ designed by Rae Smith and painted by Gerard Strong which sold for £9,000.The National Literacy Trust is a charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. Their research and analysis makes them the leading authority on literacy and informs their work. They work with schools, run literacy projects in disadvantaged communities and campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents.The Books about Town public art trails launched by the National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art in July, attracted thousands of visitors over the summer. The 50 unique BookBench sculptures were based on a range of iconic books from treasured children’s stories such as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe andPeter Pan to classic adult titles including 1984 and The Day of the Triffids. The initiative celebrated the joy of books and reading while giving people the chance to admire beautiful works of art, created by local artists and famous names.The National Literacy Trust launched Books about Town in July along with new research to show how important reading for enjoyment is for improving literacy in the UK. Young people who enjoy reading very much are nearly four times as likely to read above the expected level for their age compared with young people who do not enjoy reading at all. The charity found that in 2013 53.3% of young people enjoyed reading either “very much” or “quite a lot”, surpassing the highest level of reading enjoyment recorded eight years ago in 2005 which was 51.4%.Speaking at last night’s Books about Town auction, Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, who had a BookBench based on her novel Noughts and Crosses, said:“The benches are truly remarkable – they are a reminder of the many ways books can inspire us. Reading liberates your potential, it liberates your life.”“One person in six has poor literacy in the UK – below the level expected of an 11-year-old, which will hold them back at every stage in their life. In these challenging economic times the need to address the national literacy challenge has never been more urgent and we’re thrilled that with the vital funds raised by Books about Town, the National Literacy Trust can continue to make a difference in the UK’s poorest communities, raising levels of literacy and opening up new opportunities.The response to Books about Town over the summer was extraordinary – people from all over the world flocked to see the beautifully designed BookBenches and fell in love with them. We were thrilled by the buzz and excitement surrounding the benches on the streets of London and it really was a huge celebration of the joy of books and importance of reading. As well as raising vital funds to further our work in improving literacy in disadvantaged areas of the UK, we are so delighted to have found each beautiful BookBench a home where they will be loved and admired.”Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art says:“Books about Town has been an inspiring event this summer and has brought visual art and reading for enjoyment to the masses. We are delighted that the legacy of the event will be ensured through last night’s results.”


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