The Mechanism

2,360.00 (GBP)



The Mechanism (Arrow Bookworks, 2021)
Bookwork: 21.5cm, 21.5cm, 1.00cm.
27 pages (8 Poems, 8 Drawings).
Card, cloth, 170 gsm paper.
Limited edition /78.


The Mechanism bookwork contains a selection of eight poems written by the artist – Sam Treadaway – between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one years. Although read and discussed with certain friends, they were eventually filed away and forgotten.

Then in 2011, whilst sorting through some possessions, Sam opened an old atlas to discover, tucked within its covers, a number of handwritten pages. Re-discovering and re-reading these poems he became intrigued by conceptual parallels and connections between its verse and artworks he had since created.

Therefore Sam decided to treat each poem as a score from which to make a graphite drawing. The drawings he proceeded to produce became encoded with semiotic references, both to the original poems as well as to various artworks and projects. The Mechanism monograph is the result of that process: a meditation on one period of life from that of another and an interdisciplinary translation between writing, drawing, and making.

The Mechanism was first published in 2013, limited to an edition of /13, by Arrow Bookworks. The monograph was dedicated to particular friends, creative collaborators, and supporters with most copies gifted with thanks to these people.

This second impression of The Mechanism was published in 2021, limited to an edition of /78, by Arrow Bookworks. This is the first instance that The Mechanism has been accessible to a wider audience. It is dedicated to the people who believe in peace and kindness during times of sea-change and who, together, hold the power for collective worldwide transformation.


The Mechanism can be found in collections within the UK and abroad including:
The British Library, London, UK / The Bodleian Library, Oxford UK / Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, UK / National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales / National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland / amongst other public and private collections. Thanks to all.


Tate Artists’ Book Collection, Tate Britain, London, UK / MoMA Artists’ Book Collection, New York City, New York, USA / The British Library, London, UK / The National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London, UK / National Library of Scotland / The Bodleian Library, Oxford, UK / National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Wales / Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, UK  / The Library of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland / Newark Public Library, New Jersey, USA / Glasgow School of Art, Scotland, UK / Goldsmiths School of Art, London, UK / The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA / California Institute of the Arts, San Francisco, California, USA / Pratt Institute, New York City, New York, USA / MIT, Massachusetts, USA / The Neil Crawford Collection, London, UK / The Sutton Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK / Artphilein Editions & Choisi Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland, CH / amongst other public and private collections.


See: The Mechanism