Wednesday, 25 February 2015

I could not agree much more with Laura Cumming. I do hope I can provide a little of what was missing from the exhibition. see image of a demonic angel below

At least the Live Friday event on Heaven and Hell brought us just a hint of the dynamism that is in Blake. It is all very worthy and academic to learn about the techniques of Blake as a print maker, but that is such a minor detail about his contribution to the world.

In the Footsteps of Blake
William Blake Exhibition Event
With Nick Owen, poet
Saturday 28 February, 11.00 a.m. –12.30 p.m.
The pairing together of poetry and illustration has never been as inspiring or revolutionary as that seen in the work of William Blake. With the digital tools we have today it is easier for us follow in his footsteps and connect writing with images. Poet Nick Owen will discuss these works of art and encourage you to make your own illustrated poetry. Tickets £5/£4 concessions.
Tickets £5/£4 concessions. Booking is essential. Click here to book online now.
This will be a Powerpoint presentation on the development of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century poetry and pictures from the inspiring work of William Blake. The emphasis will be on connecting visual art with the written word and poetry.

It will also look backwards to much earlier connections between visual and linguistic codes in Egypt and China.
There will be references to the latest developments in multi-media self expression as well as an examination of the work of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath and Pre-Raphaelites.
Blake will be seen as an inspiration both in terms of philosophy and psychology as well as the developments he inspired in poetry and the visual arts.
Extract from Poetry and pictures manifesto below
(From the earliest days of printing, a world of visual images with associated thought and feeling, juxtaposed with text has been part of the western way of enculturation, to help in the process of translating meaningless ciphers, squiggles on a page, into the stuff of inner experience, into understood written words, leaping from the page or screen into constructs of a mental world.
I will never forget the moment when words and images entwined and danced for me as I began to understand written text for the first time. It was like the moment when stumbling and sinking transform into skiing and swimming as learning transforms to achieving.
The real father of Poetry and Pictures as a genre has to be William Blake, a visual artist by trade, and one of the greatest poets in the English language. More recently, the last poet laureate, Ted Hughes, set the ball rolling for modern artists with his book, “The Remains of Elmet”. He wrote poems specifically for a photographer’s art works here. In a second book, “River”, he juxtaposed poetry with an artist’s photographs without connecting them more intimately.
Hughes only wrote the poetry. He collaborated with others to create these poem-picture works. We are encouraging such collaborative work, and are open to both photographers and poets, but we are mostly focused on creating a combined work made by one author. “Poetry and Pictures” is, I believe, the first attempt to establish the two arts together as a genre for the twenty first century.
Photography has always struggled to establish its credentials as an Art form in its own right. Poetry in turn, has struggled to make a case that it is still relevant to this fast changing world. Much modern writing is as uninspiring as a snapshot from a cheap digital camera. I believe that combining ideas expressed visually with ideas expressed in words can make for a powerful medium of expression, both folk art and high art. The idea is to link a poem with a picture or series of pictures. The two can also blend together into a single visual image, which is both poetry and photography. I am not sure how many variations on the overall theme will emerge. Already there are versions I had not dreamed about. I find the merging of words into visual art in graphic artistry a particularly inspiring form. Poetry condenses experience. A photographer or graphic artist can do the same with a visual image.)

Sunday, 22 February 2015

£52.10.0 By Dr Jennifer A McGowan from the Blake Exhibition series

Good master Basire, the lad’s willing:
been drawing since the age of three,
haunts the print auctions.  See here.
he’s been to drawing school, and this—
and this—they demonstrate something
out of the ordinary, don’t you think?
An able boy, prone to detail rather than
the reverse—makes a change, eh?
Here’s my hand.  Now, Will….William!
Bit of a visionary sometimes, I fear.

All right, an extra ten shillings for that.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Readings for February 21st in The Blake Exhibition

Poet                                         Poem                             Object/position

Tony Isaacs                             Anthem                                              Jerusalem

Julie Forth                             Imagination Divine                           By the printing press
                                               I turn my back to the east

Nick Owen                            Lovers redeemed                    Illustration for Dante's Inferno

Sarianne Durie                      Samuel Palmer                        Palmer: Late twilight

Debbie Moogan.                   Behold Newton.                      The Newton image                

Louise Larchbourne            Metamorphic                       The approach of doom; Robert Blake

Diana Moore                      Awaiting title                             The ghost of a flea

Jennifer McGowan            £52.10.0                                      The apprentice agreement