Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Profile: Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn, born 1965, South of Manchester.

Studied textile design as a mature student, attending Loughborough College of Art, he graduated in 1997 . For his final year, alongside a collection of hand woven silks, he submitted a dissertation detailing the significance of the Eternal Feminine in relationship to the poetry of Aleksandr Blok, a personal paper drawing upon a wider interest in Russian Symbolist Poetry. Sean combines a passion for costume with an awareness of the physical presence of dress. His work explores the connection between creativity and wishfulfilment, both in language and in photography. He is a prolific writer of letters, dedicated to the art of correspondence, and it is through these engaging connections that his voice as a writer has emerged. Sean is currently working in collaboration with Jalina Mhyana, both as an editor and as co-contributor to her epistolary novel Calliope and Swansblossm. (

Poem for performance: John, Count of Nassau, with his Family, 1634 

Artist: Anthony van Dyck 

Location: Room 44 

Cloud Mantle 

I envy you.
Not your wealth, your youth, your lineage.
Only your threads.

Royal blood, spooled as blue ribbon,
Tips a feather vein, astonishes,
Darts through to where your bodice announces a sleeve.

You observed intricate knotting.
Witnessed the gathering tensions,
Shirring balloon enclosures,
Heavy pendulum cuffs.

Your cloud mantle is woven from base metal.
Poison informs the palette, 
Pigments bleed, an alchemy of paint.
Raw canvas brushed towards silk.

A Lacewing halo embraces your shoulder,
Unfurling to reveal a string of clear pearls
Water droplets at the nape of your neck, minute crystal orbs.

I marvel at the non-weight of globe rose,
Tricked in your hand.
Wet stem lick across your palm.
Fortune teller trace along your lifeline.
It tickles, spins with ease, rotates an open face to your Fathers golden fleece, his ram sheared distinction.
Bowed at the knee, with a flourish.

He points, heralds a procession of touch.
Mothers double echo, holds a parallel caution,
Allows your brother a nimble scale, across her knee.
A roundelay of hands.
Where a lap dog gazes, curious.
And your Brothers braggard swagger, dense plot of vermillion, fails to outshine you, could never compete.

Pearls roll from your wrist
Your left hand draws a furrow
Down your clotted skirt,
Nervous fingers trying to occasion a purchase;
Where there is only slip,
Lustre glides,
Raises a crescent,
But the gilt hem drags lower
Holds a draught upon the floor.

You stand proud in wonder, hardly knowing the world.
Buttoned and corded into a life of ceremony.
Balancing long hours of portraiture,
The weight of the gown insistant,
Tapes and ribbons discomfort, count the hours slow passage.

Your thoughts look ahead,
Anticpating the rush of childhood
Where ribbons pull free,
Playful escape, quick to erase the mask of appearance.

And there is a doll somewhere, 
Comforts companion, seized tight;
Whispers poured into wood scratch ears.

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