Annually DAN (Droitwich Arts Network) artists exhibit their work in the Long Gallery at Hanbury Hall, for the past few years (long before I was a poet), teams of poets have descended on the NT property to write ekphrastic poetry. For the past 2 years I have had the pleasure of organising that side of the event alongside the Chair of DAN and several committee members.
© 2018 www.droitwichartsnetwork.org
Earlier this month I had an exciting meeting with the DAN Chair, Helen Karakashian at Park’s Cafe. Several new elements have been included this year:
- Poets are being asked to display framed poems to sit amongst the artworks.
- Whilst at the Exhibition there will be (we hope) a designated area where poets can scribe initial thoughts and leave them for visitors to read.
This year the exhibition is also running for a week longer than before. Last year there were over 3350 visitors.
Just like last year the poets will then meet with the artists to celebrate at Park’s Cafe in December at a special reading which will be open to the public, where there will be a screening of the art which inspired our words.
The DAN Exhibition at Hanbury Hall will be open to the public from the 10th October.
My Poems from Hanbury Hall DAN Exhibitions:
2015 – Fragile Houses Published by V. Press (2016)
Little Blue Hut
Not Yet Home
2017 – Moxie Cheltenham Poetry Festival Anthology Pittville Press
PoARTry is the brainchild of Rick Sanders who created a project last year (June 2017) at The Art Yard in Cradley Heath between artists and poets.
Pairs collaborated and created new works which became an exhibition.
PoArtry is a mash up of poetry and art work. The exhibition is the collaboration of artists and poets from across the Midlands, reacting and creating art and poetry in response to each other’s art.
The exhibition runs for the month of July, and many pieces will be on sale in the show. The exhibition is free to enter and the gallery opening times are 10am – 5pm Monday – Friday. Please contact the Art Yard for details.
© Grace Dore
Fast forward a year to March 2018 and Rick organised his next PoARTy project in Ledbury with the Artistree Gallery.
Budding creatives met on the 8th March at the gallery. After some initial introductions and the over-arching project explained we were paired up – football pools style. I was lucky to be paired with Molly Bythell, a talented graduate who creates oil paintings that dramatically tell their own story. An easy canvas for me as a poet.
Two months later and after collaborating we have completed an exhibition of 3 works each. Two new paintings inspired by my poems and about 20 new poems. Three of which will be exhibited and some have found their own way into my next manuscript (fingers crossed they make the cut). It has been fabulous working with Molly.
A few days after the work deadline, Leena Batchelor and myself have found ourselves organising the Launch/Reading Event for PoARTry.
More details are coming soon – it will be July – it will be in the evening and it will be fantastic and FREE.
The event will be a chance to hear pairings talk about the artistic collaboration, the process of work and hear some of the poems. It will be a celebration – a PoART Party & you will have a chance to see a fantastic exhibition, you could even become a proud new owner of the work.
Last Wednesday I wrote 21 Haikus for What’s the Agenda – a project organised and facilitated by Hayley Frances for the MAC.
The deadline for submissions was the 20th.
I missed the workshop because I couldn’t get tickets from the website, due to an error in the sign up form. I contacted Hayley directly and followed the tasks covered by the workshop.
When I saw the submission details advertised it read – isolation in a digital world – yet the workshop dealt with heritage as well as loneliness. Freewriting tasks I wrote about loneliness and how times have changed – in past generations people lived close to their families or stayed with their families. The world today is open globally, many children move away, across country or continents.
The network support isn’t instantly there – if you are lucky and able you make friends and these become your new family.
The pressures of 21st century living on young people and the changing world they are growing up in can cause all sorts of issues.
I then read up on Hikikomori, including some personal accounts and articles. From here I started freewriting Haikus. I wrote 7 in my lunch break at work, the next 14 flowed out of me in the afternoon, after work and before heading out to perform at Confab Cabaret.
I emailed Hayley and she has used them. Not sure if she used all 21 but they form part of the Agenda weekend exhibition down at the