Letter to the People of Lewes: Invitation to contribute to The Book of Debts (VI)


We may meet, we may have met, or .. we may never meet. I am an artist, debtor and keeper of The Book of Debts, which – one Volume per location – is being filled with stories, recited aloud and burned in symbolic acts of imaginary debt relief, as it travels the UK (supported by Arts Council, England). From 7pm May 30th until 4.30pm, June 8th 2014, The Book of Debts, Volume VI, will be hosted in our town. It will be part of Future Dreaming, a new touring group exhibition exploring systems for imagining and creating the future, at the Foundry Gallery, 32 North St, Phoenix Estate. Lewes.

What do you think about when you think about debt? I invite you to read, reflect on and add to Volume VI of the Book, anonymously, which is open to anyone who finds it – whether borrower or lender, past or present.  What is in your/our collective book of human accounts?  Money, rights, time, love, attention ?  Shame, denial, regret, anger, injustice, inequality, gratitude? Who owes what to whom? Do all debts have to be repaid?  When is it ok not to pay?  What is our responsibility to the land we use and how it is shaped, for future generations?  What would you have written off, call to account or want to draw attention to?  The debt entered may be financial, social, emotional, historical, political, ecological or spiritual – or a combination. Take a moment to reflect on a subject that has a huge power over society and yet is hard to grasp – and is always about more than money.

The Lewes Book has begun its life in the hands of the Living Well Dying Well Foundation and the writers group Bourne to Write before its pages open at Future Dreaming. 

You can take part in the following ways:  

  • In person at the gallery, at the preview, 30th May, 7 – 9pm, then open every day 12 5.30pm (except Monday). I’m there 12 -2pm for tea, one-to-one recitals/ writing sessions.
  • At the Lewes Pound Stall, Farmers Market on Saturday June 7th  and on the streets until 1pm.
  • Via: www.burningthebooks.co.uk

 All contributions will form part of the final recital and burning, at Foundry Gallery at 4.30pm on Sunday June 8th, 2014, followed by a celebratory wake, ending by 5.30/6pm. Free. The content of The Book is dependent on those who fill its pages, and is unique to the place in which it resides. Lewes is a unique place so expect a Book like no other so far…

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