Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail.
Response to Nigel Henderson’s ‘James Joyce’
In broken rocks
In desolate landscapes
The human face still haunts.
I must keep making faces at my pain
I must keep making faces to know myself
The battleground for the human spirit
Is in the face.
Because the head is a strange place
Sometimes I don’t know where I am
Sometimes I am a stranger
In a strange land
Inside my own skin.
Life – a collage
A cutting out of reality
I must rearrange it
And make it mine
The head is a strange place:
A geography of something always lost
A map that takes us away from ourselves.
No wonder we rip it up -
This confetti of the ghosts we must be.
I have started doing collages, actually there was a compulsion to do a collage of a human being. Maybe I was just feeling all that was wrong with the world, but in my psychosis, human beings were growing shark heads.
Is psychosis a collage of the cutting outs of reality? Dunno. But my source material isn't women's weekly, it is the complex human being.
I get frustrated with people who say humans have fundamental goodness. Tell that to any human being who has died at the hands of someone of his or her own species. It's an insult to them.
No genocide victim will wear that t-shirt, I am afraid. There are both sides to the human. The only thing axiomatic about it is the choice between the two.