A Dictionary Story

Sam Winston
‘a dictionary story’
Second edition of 500, 2001
offset lithograph

This poster celebrates the publication of London artist Sam Winston’s story about dictionary definitions coming to life and encountering one another.

"I became interested in the dictionary because it has the ability to say everything that can be ever said, it contains all the stories imaginable but just not in the right order. The piece can be read by starting in the top left-hand corner and following the left hand column down. The definitions of the words of the story follow in the adjacent column. My work often focuses on how we use language—from the order we read words to the shape the pages take. I look at existing books—such as Dictionaries, timetables and children’s stories—and see if I can make new narratives from them."

Sam Winston is a London based artist known for his typography and artist’s books and for his variety of approaches to his art including drawing, performance, and poetry. His work has been exhibited in Tate Britain, the British Library, the Library of Congress, and MoMA. Installations have been held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Whitechapel Gallery. All of his art encourages his audience to new ways of thinking about and engaging with language.

Included in the significant collection of Sam Winston’s work at Bridwell Library are two copies of the accordion-folded ‘a dictionary story’, the 2006 Circle Press edition (BRF0256) and the 2013 trade edition from ARC Editions (BRF0379).

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Public Conference Room
A Dictionary Story