The Hesitant Visitor

The Hesitant Visitor - Palaeography - Open on Surface

‘The Hesitant Visitor’ was created to be experienced as part of an evening of performance at Senate House Library entitled ‘Reading as Art: Turning the Pages of Victorian Psychology’. The artwork is comprised of three leaflets, which are named after one of the library’s beautiful reading rooms and a character from history that is related to Victorian Psychology. The ‘books’ are:

  • Durning-Lawrence: Francis Galton
  • Goldsmiths’: Mary Shelley
  • Palaeography: Charles Babbage
The Hesitant Visitor - All Three Books - On Display in Senate House
The Hesitant Visitor – All Three Books – On Display in Senate House

Each ‘book’ has the same appearance, with covers that feature the stone that clads Senate House’s public areas and wood on the interior that reflects the surfaces of the desks and furniture throughout the space.

The Hesitant Visitor - All Three Books - On Display in Senate House
The Hesitant Visitor – All Three Books – On Display in Senate House

Each contains a short story set in the particular reading room, which links the space with the library’s wider collection. On the back of each are references for further reading.

“The reading rooms at Senate House are incredible spaces, full of history and atmosphere – it was great to get chance to visit them let-alone make an artwork that responds to them. Researching the theme of the evening (Victorian Psychology) turned up lots of interesting connections – I hope you find the finished work as compelling to read as it was to make.”

– Chris

All three leaflets are included as part of the Ephemera Collection in the shop, which also contains the Preface from This Journey is a Book and four pages from ‘Between the Actual and Possible’.

Artworks available from the shop: