Wow, Wow, Wow!!! There is so much to explore! So many stunning bookmarks! So much talent and creativity! Do yourself a favour and explore this wondrous website and all its bookmarks!
Here is an explanation of the project from the website....
"This annual series grew out of an aim to encourage appreciation and awareness of artists working in the book format. Participating artists each produce an edition of 100 signed and numbered bookmarks which are divided into 100 sets; one full set being sent to each of the contributing artists and the rest divided and sent in distribution boxes to participating host venues around the world, for visitors to enjoy. Over the last fourteen years, the Bookmarks series of free artwork distribution has visited 148 galleries, bookstores, workshops, centres, schools, museums and libraries in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and USA
544 artists have contributed 54,700 bookmarks to the fourteen projects to date. Each bookmark is stamped with the current project’s website address, which directs the taker of the bookmark to the gallery section of the website. Visitors can view works by the artists and contact contributors via their website and email links on our site".
If I use a bookmark, it is usually a feather or a torn scrap of paper, but I often just close the book, assuming I will find my place (and only occasionally, shamefully, leaving the book face down). But one of my favourite things is to have a library book or a second-hand book, and to come all unsuspecting across other people's bookmarks, the traces they leave of themselves. As though in marking their place in the book, they make their own mark upon the page, upon the story and upon the next reader. Did they buy the items on that shopping list, the bread and the light-bulbs and the birthday card? And the bus ticket, where did they go and did they come back again? Who tenderly pressed these flowers or unwittingly trapped a spider? What remains in a book becomes another layer of meaning, a story within the story. What marks the book and what marks the book: the sweet wrappers and seaside postcards and folded till receipts and fringed slips of leather, the scribblings and spilt drinks and smears of old blood and tears and tears and foxing of paper and folding of corners.
I like the physical presence of bookmarks, their smallness and modesty, and the way they quietly yet definitely make a pause, their gentle insistence. I like the way that they can be both a particular thing, a proper thing to be bought as such, and used, and collected, and at the same time just any old thing that happens to fit the purpose.
And bookmarks also are of that class of things that dwindles now, becoming less than their pleasing slightness as to be no longer so useful, so necessary. Though virtually the concept remains, bookmarks are, as real objects, utterly useless and irrelevant to those who favour kindles or other such reading devices. (So, then, these bookmarks were not made for you. So, then, you can go away, and click a button or whatever other dull method by which you mark your place.)
Bookmarks are real, physical, tangible things made for real, physical, tangible and lovely books. They are things to be held, laid down and taken up, used and made worn, lost and found. Small things, slight and slender things, general and particular; what is carefully chosen, what comes to hand. They drift out from an opened book and flutter to the floor, they stay caught in the gutters, they stain the pages with sap and secrets; they can be kept in albums and looked at together in quiet moments and on grey days, when the wind whispers and whispers." - Elizabeth Willow