ONE: A BOOK OF OURS /the making of


People who have experienced homelessness, and other vulnerable people, made a medieval-style illuminated manuscript A BOOK OF OURS describing their lives as a visual poem, in a 2-year project in Manchester, UK 2018-21. 

The book pages and songs were made collaboratively by people with lived experience of homelessness and other vulnerable people, working collaboratively with directors artist Lois Blackburn and poet Phil Davenport and supported by calligrapher Stephen Raw and songwriter Matt Hill. A BOOK OF OURS exhibited at Bury Art Museum May-July 2021, then Manchester Cathedral Oct 21-March 22 after which it went into the permanent collection at John Rylands Library, where it can now be viewed. A BOOK OF OURS was supported by the Heritage Fund and was the final project by arthur+martha CIC (Davenport & Blackburn).

What follows is a Commentary on the manuscript by Jeffrey Robinson, who also interviewed some of the makers and artists. 

HEAR songs, recitations and chants from A BOOK OURS

From Book of Changes chapter, A BOOK OF OURS. Photograph Lois Blackburn