In 2016 I made an installation for South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell commemorating it's history during the Second World War - the Mansion house became the evacuated home of the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital of Margate in Kent.
'Loose parts' was a set of screenprinted pillows that were laid out on grass beds on the lawn in front of the South Hill Park terrace during the Engage with Art Festival (2-3 July 2016). Patients of the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital, including very many children, were suffering from surgical tuberculosis. Treatment involved being outdoors day and night, those with a diseased spine restricted to a plaster bed, or those with infected joints with splinted limbs. At a time that was pre-antibiotic treatments, if the disease abated the best possible outcome was an immobile back or limb - forever seized up into the least worst position. The outdoor installation of 'beds' and pillows also celebrated that children in this country are largely now free of this disease: with healthy limbs and free to play without limitation.
During its stay at South Hill Park, the hospital also cared for many injured Servicemen - who we remember on VE Day on Friday.
Since the beginning of April I have been making up scrubs for Scrubs Glorious Scrubs - a fantastic collective of volunteers who are making non-surgical scrubs, hats and scrubs bags for the NHS during the current disease crisis.
In what feels like a lovely twist to the tale of my artwork - I have now converted the remaining pillows into scrubs bags which will be distributed to be used in GP surgeries and other healthcare settings around Bracknell to help with the Covid-19 battle.
Versopolis (pan-European cultural magazine) - has launched 'Festival of Hope' - a global virtual poetry initiative https://www.versopolis.com/festival-of-hope
Included in the cornucopia of material is the Poetry + Video programme, which was due to screen this month as part of Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival. One door closes, another one opens ...
Celebrating films of 5 minutes and under - MicroMania Film Fest has much to be explored - see all the selections at https://vimeo.com/showcase/micromaniafilmfest
Operating out of Buffalo, NY - the festival is releasing works online and across social media because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Included in the selections is 'Moss'
Covid-19 restrictions caused some filmmakers to be unable to complete their films for the April 2020 edition of Visible Poetry Project. Founder of the Project Michelle Cheripka invited to make a 'Behind the scenes' film from my previous work for VPP. I decided to look back to my first film with Brittani Sonnenberg - Coyote Wedding.
It was lovely to look back over Brittani's images and poetry - and as well as explaining something of the process of making Coyote Wedding, I decided I would also make a rough and ready 'lockdown' film of Night Walk MTV. This was the first piece of Brittani's that I read, and it made me fall in love with her work. In 2018 it was hard to choose which poem to work with so it has been a delight to revisit Night Walk MTV.
And here is the original film.
Very pleased to say that my film 'Moss' (poet Natalie Whittaker) has been selected to be screened as part of the 'Breaking the Line' programme on Friday 17th April. The festival is online from Wednesday to Sunday with a different programme screening each day, available for 24 hours.
Visiting The Word in South Shields to see the installation of the Poetry + Video programme.
It all looked very professional and beautiful, the exhibition is in their ground floor exhibition 'pod'.
The outside wall has an introduction to the programme, while inside vinyl lettering lists all the titles, filmmakers and writers.
People drop-in to the space to take in the films. I chatted to the events manager - she says that typical visitors will stop and watch 2 or 3 films at a time.
All in all an excellent model for an alternative to a screening event for showing poetry film. I think this is a lovely way to dip in and out of poetry film, or perhaps discover it for the first time.
Happening this weekend - https://www.publicpoetry.net/reelpoetry/
From the website: REELpoetry/Houston TX international poetry film festival, JAN. 24-26, 2020. Screening cinepoetry, mini-documentaries, videopoems, from local, national and international poets and filmmakers, panels, workshops & more. Featured guests include Dave Bonta, founder of Moving Poems, filmmaker Mary McDonald (Canada) presenting “In Augmented Reality,” and poetry filmmaker, Sarah Tremlett (England), curator of “Uprooted.”
The programme page is here
Very pleased to say 'letter - to anyone who is listening' is being screened as a Judges selection.
The above image is from one of my favourite pieces in the programme - Our Bodies (A Sinner's Prayer) by Matt Mullins - you can read more about it here
A great experience at the 8th International VideoPoetry Festival in Athens... many films, live performances, music, and a workshop session.
Full review of the event here
Fab to be meeting up with Lucy English, Chaucer Cameron and Helen Dewbery, then connecting with people in person for the first time - Marie Craven, Ian Gibbins and Ana Pantic. Many thanks to Sissy Doutsiou and her team for a very varied and exciting event.
I performed some new and old writing live - I wrote about the experience on my a-n blog