Bonnier Books UK, the leading UK publisher, has commissioned Submit to Love Studios, home to a collective of more than 40 artists living with brain injury, to recreate a selection of the most iconic covers from across its lists.
A group of Submit to Love artists worked on the project, showcasing their individual and collective talents to deliver a distinct new spin on six instantly recognisable jackets.
The final artwork – which ranges from playful portraiture and joyful collage to intricate stitchwork and detailed illustration – will line the walls of Bonnier Books UK’s new HQ at Victoria House on Bloomsbury Square (London WC1).
The below artists participated in the project, and worked on the following jackets:
Billy Mann – E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars
Brian Searle – Heather Morris’ The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Cecil Waldron – Katherine Ryan’s The Audacity
Sam Jevon – Kathy Willis’ Botanicum, illustrated by Katie Scott
Sean Carty – John Bellairs’ The Figure in the Shadows
Tirzah Mileham – Stacey Halls’ The Familiars
All artists are members of Headway East London – a charity that supports brain injury survivors, their families, and carers. Some have practiced art before their injuries, while others have more recently found their passion and talent for the work. For all, the act of making is one of hope and empowerment – an opportunity for new gifts, connections, identities, and “discovery through art.”
Nick Stearn, Art Director, Adult Trade Publishing and Children’s Fiction, said: “We’re so proud to work with Submit to Love Studios and these six outstanding artists. It’s been a huge pleasure watching the works take shape, and the results have been a delight. As a publisher, we believe that great stories can come from anywhere and that books are for everyone. Submit to Love – clear in their mission that art is both for everyone, and by everyone – were the perfect partners for this project.
Laura Owens, Director of Development at Headway East London added: “We’re incredibly excited to launch this special project with Bonnier Books. For many of the artists at Submit to Love, their practice and work is a form of storytelling – a way to share experiences and something about themselves with a wider audience. Collaborating on these book covers felt like a natural step, and we are thrilled with the results.”
Artist Brian Searle, who worked on a recreation of The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris said: “When I saw the book cover, I first thought about my wife’s nan, who was Jewish and she spoke about her background when she grew up in Brick Lane and why she had to change her name from Solomon to Sullivan and again when she married, cause back in them days you couldn’t have Jewish names. So that added a personal touch to the project. It’s really nice to be commissioned: as an artist that’s what you live for really and I feel really lucky to be able to do it for Bonnier Books. I really enjoyed seeing the commissions of all the different artists come together, to see all different processes and styles of the studio.”
Artist Billy Mann, who reproduced E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars on linen, said: “What I liked about doing this project was that I read the book as I was doing it. The book is kind of intriguing because it plays around with memory and very early on, one of the characters gets a brain injury, so all the way through you’re thinking ‘what is the impact of the brain injury?’ We knew we wanted to do the stitchwork in gold, and that took a long time, but the image actually emerged as we went along. We were terrified that something would go wrong and I’d have to do the stitching again! So, I went very gingerly all the way through that, but it came off really nicely and I was very pleased in the end.”
All six designs are being sold as limited-edition prints – with 100% of the proceeds going to Headway East London to help their ongoing work in supporting brain injury survivors, their families and carers.
The charity prints can be purchased for £10 here: https://www.submittolovestudios.org/shop/stl-bonnier-books-prints