Photo Credit: Hunt&Darton

Survival Shelf is an eclectic and ever expanding library of pre-owned books that somehow incorporate the word ‘survive’ in their titles. Complied through hours of scouring charity shops and ebay, the books range from classic guides on surviving disasters, to advice on heartbreak, DIY, school exams and mental health.

The obscure collection speaks to our desire to ‘be prepared’ for all eventualities and places perceptions of emergency (personal and global) onto a shifting scale. Survival Shelf questions notions of expertise, redundancy and usefulness, alongside the contemporary value of ‘fixing’ knowledge within a book format.

Photo Credits: LOW PROFILE / Hunt & Darton / Oliver Rudkin / Exeter Phoenix


Survival Shelf was first commissioned for Hunt&Darton Café to act as a potential resource, offering some guidance for artists and café goers and has seen been presented as an installation as part of Against All Odds and The Event Formally Known as Stand Ins. Survival Shelf is a continuation of our ongoing investment in exploring notions of preparedness.