Poetry&Paint Anthology Launch

So relaxed I could run this with my eyes closed…

On Saturday 30th March, I launched the Poetry&Paint anthology. I set up the exhibition in the morning, with my boyfriend, and some of the other artists that feature in the anthology.

After a bad-boy burger from Giant Robot, we got back to the gallery. Soon people started to arrive, including some locals, one of which bought an anthology and provided interesting debate during the discussion as it steered away from the topic onto matters of Creative Entrepreneurship. I smoothed things over with the idea that one needs to have a balance between a five-point plan and not having a clue. As an artist, you always need to be reflective.

Exhibiting work were: Daniel Lehan, Natalie Cooper, Georgie Watts, Richard Potter, Steven Fraser, Verity Flute, Greta Healy and Alfie Simms.

Selina Nwulu kicked off the event with a lovely selection of poems, followed by the kinetic visual poetry of Daniel Lehan, before taking a commercial break. The final act filled the audience with a foreboding anxiety, as Robyn Comfort and Bill Vine presented their collaborative piece which combined light, sound and Robyn’s poetic darkness, against a black backdrop. It was great to have such a variety of exciting act.

The discussion was the last element and really interesting debate ensued from the following questions:

This project started from a fairly simple notion; a desire for a revival of illustrated books beyond children’s literature. However, it has expanded into a wide array of interpretations, which is fantastic. How do you see the concept of Poetry&Paint within your own artistic practice?

The relationship between words and the visual arts is nothing new, if we look at those such as poet, William Blake, who I’m a fan of… What are some of your favourite examples of the two working together? How do you envisage this concept for the 21st Century?

With the rise of digital reading via eBooks etc, you could argue that physical books need to offer consumers something more than simply words on a page; do you think that collaboration with the visual arts could revive people’s desire to buy books as objects? If so, how?

Thinking of those at the start of their career, it seems that writers need to think beyond the page. With the rise of live literature, it could it be said that this arena is comparable to the exhibition space of the visual artists. Within the arts the boundaries blur between literature, theatre, performance art, visual art and so on… yet there is a the problem of classification. But, does this really matter or is it a false dilemma?

Sadly Greta Healy couldn’t make the event and had to pull out of the discussion. Luckily, Daniel stepped in and provided extremely thought-provoking insight. He also told me about his inspiration, Kenneth Patchen, who I shall be looking up! Sadly, this made the discussion seem as though Selina was the only one to be left out, which provoked a rambled apology from me. I wish that I had recorded the evening because it was a great success and although sometimes the discussion got side-tracked, many an interesting comment was made about the concept of Poetry&Paint.

Next up: some discussions about what I’ve been reading and exhibition shizzle.


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