In 2017 Rick Sanders organised the first PoARTry Gallery event in Cradley Heath. Back in March 2018 he asked me to be part of his next PoARTry venture in Ledbury at the Artistree Gallery and I was only too happy to oblige.
I am a fan of Art and had I not pursued Drama, Art may have become my forte. I have always enjoyed working with artists, writing ekphrastic poetry and getting my work out there in installations and other creative means. The aspect of this project I found most exciting was how our words would inspire new artwork and new art would enable new poems to be created.
Read about the initial meeting & the Cradley Heath project here.
Leena Batchelor and myself took on the role of organising a Launch event with readings and talks by the Artists.
We launched on July 11th. It was a magical evening and a special night as the gallery is only open during the daytime usually. Not all artists and poets could make it and the exhibition showcased more artists than feature in this review.
The following photographs are © Rick Sanders. More photos of mine will be added.
I was lucky enough to meet Ken Calvert at the Homend Poets event during Ledbury Poetry Festival and booked him to come and play to welcome people into the gallery, to lead into the interval and to round the night off at the end.
Following a brief introduction from Rick and I we started our Gallery Tour/Launch.
Poet Nicky Heatherington burns her work into wood. This creates Art on its own. Nicky collaborated with artist Val Randle.
They also bravely went first.
Artist Kate Culling partnered with poet Bill Thomas.
Poet Bill Thomas explaining how the work of Kate Culling inspired his writing.
Kate was kind enough to allow one of her artworks to be used on the event promotional material. I thoroughly enjoyed her dynamic explanation of the work.
Artists from all disciplines worked on the project – a glassblower Ken Howell incorporates the poem into his artwork.
Marion Steele was teamed with Leena Batchelor.
Marion Steele kindly allowed us to use her artwork on promotional material.
Alan Richardson partnered Rick Sanders. I think their humour complimented each other well.
More music from Ken before the interval.
During the interval people had time to mingle and view the exhibition at their leisure. It was a great opportunity to get to know each other better and as poetry circles tend to be fairly tight knit/small it is always a pleasure to get to know new people.
My partner was artist Molly Bythell and I enjoyed hearing all about her work and meeting up again as we based our collaboration online.
Molly Bythell kindly let us use her artwork on promotional material.
Molly and I used 1 existing work chosen from each other to create 1 new work each and then used those new works to create another new work. Three pieces each. I displayed 5 poems but wrote 20, including a sequence of 11 about Dementia. Here I read three of the poems, one not displayed.
Angela Davis partnered Maggie Reed.
Angela Davis kindly allowed her artwork to be used on promotional material.
Bill Denny partnered Brian Graham.
Tim Stavert talked about his collaboration with Paddy Hannigan before sharing his poems.
And finally Hilary Davies and Myfanwy Fox shared their work.
The evening closed with a couple of songs by Ken Calvert.
Huge thanks to the Artistree Team for helping Leena and I make this Launch a success. Special thanks to Marion Steele, Bill Thomas and Kate Culling who helped with logistics enormously.
It was fascinating hearing from the artists and the poets about where the muse came from and how they collaborated together. Another aspect of the evening was some pairs meeting each other for the first time and a reunion for the March meeting group. Seeing what other collaborators had come up and listening to how the various pairings worked together was insightful and enjoyable.
The work was all exceptionally high quality and a number of artists sold their pieces.
I think it was a successful mission for everyone and was definitely an exhibition enjoyed by many visitors to the gallery.