Lady Readers by Sara Knelman


Published on the occasion of the exhibition Lady Readers, at Peckham 24, London, May 2024.


‘Though I’ve gathered them together, these images don’t belong to me. They’ve been let loose in the world, unbound from the conditions of their production, and from the people and places that made them. Collecting them is a way of bringing an attentiveness to this narrow photographic theme, and in turn to the symbolic power it might hold. What might these images convey about women as readers (or as writers)—as imaginers of the world?


In her essay about reading, “How Should One Read a Book?”, Virginia Woolf describes the special space of reading: “Everywhere else may be bound by laws and conventions,” she writes, but “there we have none.” Even when we know how an image may have been used, we can’t know what the readers within them are thinking: Is their attention on the book or letter in hand? What effect are words and ideas having on their perspectives? Or are their minds instead wandering to other thoughts?’ (Excerpt from essay by Sara Knelman)


The book is designed so that by turning the pages and opening the gatefolds the reader can view the front and back of each of the photographic objects.

Essay by Sara Knelman
Designed by Daniel Alexander
Photographs from the collection of Sara Knelman
Published by Ottoby Press
ISBN 978-1-9163852-9-0

Edition of 450

2 in stock