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.


20.03.13 – Poetry&Paint launch

Don’t Cart-wheel on Broken Glass

Last Thursday night LitSoc put on an event with CWS… though actually I think only one of our collaborators was there.  Anyway, this is possibly the last event we’re going to put on, but I’m hoping to put on another one.  I really want to pay the performers but I don’t think we have enough money… maybe on the next!

Anyway, we had to host as a committee (apart from Helen because she doesn’t like public speaking) because our host pulled out last-minute… very unprofessional haha.  We started off with a CWS open mic but the only member that came had to go away for something and so there wasn’t really any of their input but whatever.  I was the “sacrificial poet” first in the open mic and we had a decent number of people get up to read.

The night consisted of Catherine Woodward, followed by Grenouilles, and I was meant to go on then but I cut my set out so the night would run more smoothly (hence why I did the open mic instead).  Then Greta Healy and Hannah Walker gave us some poetry, and Robyn Comfort began with poetry and moved onto music.

Ending the night was Russell J Turner, Ashley Johnston, and Tim Clare.  I was really happy with how the evening went down, but I think I’m getting a bit too comfortable in my university bubble because I had rather too much wine to drink.  I stupidly left mid-way through Tim Clare’s set because a couple of friends were going out and apparently it was a “now or never” situation.  I feel really stupid and guilty for leaving and really regret it.  It’s something I’d be totally against when sober and if Captain of the Rant saw me that night, he’d be saying “now who’s rude? now who’s the dickhead?! hmmm?!”

I guess I got what I deserved.  I ended up at “Nowhere” and somehow was dancing on my own, wondering where one of the people I came with had gone but figuring I may as well just enjoy myself until we were reunited.  I had an urge at the beginning of the night to do a cart-wheel but we were busy setting up so I didn’t.  You better believe repressed urges will come out.  I decided to use an empty space to do a cart-wheel.  Now, this is something I would do sober as well, and have memories of doing it at kid’s birthday parties in my childhood, so I don’t know if I can entirely blame the alcohol for… maybe I can blame the club, or the dark lighting.

Anyway, I did the cart-wheel and I did it on a load of broken glass.  My hand got cut first and so I fell onto the floor and hurt my knee.  I was really embarrassed and rushed to the bar where I told them my hand really hurt and that I “thought” it was bleeding.  I looked down and there was blood going everywhere (including my lovely dress… it’s okay guys, it came out in the wash, thank god! It’s vintage you see).  I was taken to the back room and they got the first aid kit out and bandaged me up, but the guy said that if I cared what my knee looked like I needed to go to A&E.  I remember being quite casual about it because I didn’t think that I needed more than what he’d done, and I didn’t really want to go but him saying that obviously freaked me out…  I didn’t really want a deformed knee.

So… memory blank… somehow I got there.  Taxi I guess.  I waited for 3 hours and had nothing to do.  I had left my poetry and my iPod at the LitSoc event.  I wasted loads of texts and even tried calling my dad, and a friend I’d planned to call at the weekend.  It was past 2am so I didn’t get through.  I bought some crisps and a cookie from a machine.  I felt so depressed and lonely and just sat there for hours until I got so frustrated with everyone being seen apart from me that I started crying.  Not noticeably, just silently to myself.  I just wanted my parents there but they are in London and I am in Norwich.

Eventually I was seen and it was revealed it was a complete waste of time.  I didn’t even need stitches.  They just washed my hand (which had been previously glued) and then put these strips on my knee (which my dad said were butterfly stitches, but still… not proper stitches).  I got an expensive taxi home for £8 and when I arrived at mine at like 5am, the guy wouldn’t stop talking about how Shakespeare doesn’t exist.  I mean, bless him, but at 5am I just wanted to go to sleep before attempting at my busy day whilst being all tired and hungover.

It’s my housemate, Kristy’s birthday today so we’ve just made her fairy cakes and put them on this amazing cake stand we got her from Notty Green.  I’ve been listening to Funeral for a Friend’s new album Welcome Home Armageddon and it’s great!  More like the old stuff, wooo!  It’s been sunny and I’ve been wearing pink jeans and been in a good mood considering my preoccupation with a guy that doesn’t feel the same as me and general loneliness that creeps over me sometimes.  And random waves of panic about my life in general.  Anyway, before I start getting too personal and bitching about other stuff that’s annoying me, I’ll end.