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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Alfred Wallis

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.

This is in response to Alfred Wallis' 'Four Boats' 

Four boats
Heading towards the light
It may not be home
But light is light

You call me naïve
But no-one who has sailed the seas
Is that.

We know we are no one against nature,
No one against the tides of time or ocean
We know we are alone.

That’s why I paint – for company
I paint to calm the ocean
I paint for memories I will
Never have again.
I paint to stop me from drowning.

Why is that naïve?

 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 21 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 25 September 2012

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Peter Howson

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.

This is in response to Peter Howson's 'Suspicious Boy':

A quiet hand
Linked to a screaming heart
Knows

The eye
The flotsam gaze
In a savage sea
Of drowned children
Still alive

Knows 
Art needs to know
Needs to show
The broken mind
Under bright skin 
Needs to dig into the lines
That tears the soul
And show the heart
Coming apart at the dreams.

It needs to know the suspicion,
The hate needed to breathe
Without dying

It needs to know that survival
does not save you
It saves itself

Life cannot be beautiful
Ever again. 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 20 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 September 2012

My piece at Shape's 'Perception of Balance' exhibition

I received the good news that one of my pieces was accepted for the Perceptions of Balance Exhibition at Shape Arts.   My piece is called ‘Balanced Mind’

I have been labeled ‘mad’ by society, so therefore seen as unbalanced. Society’s way of redressing that is not to help me make sense of the childhood trauma that triggered my psychosis, nor to tackle inequality and discrimination in society because of that label. Its way was to medicate me into submission. For decades I was on antipsychotic medication. I did not laugh or cry on these meds. Is this well balanced? It took away my symptoms but my life too. Is that a fair payoff, a balanced payoff?

A tablet does not cure abuse, isolation, or stigma. But I was sedated, out of society’s hair. They said the tablets would make me feel better. Please define better when I have lost my soul. Maybe you don’t need a soul nowadays. 

The message: don’t speak your mind. Your silence and submission are signs of being well-balanced.

So my art shows that the medication weighs heavier, and the promise of peace of mind, of having my life back is an empty promise, not worth the prescription pad it is written on.

I have given up the meds and regained my life. Some may say that shows I am unbalanced. I say it makes perfect sense. 

There is a private view of the exhibition on the 20th Sept. 

Date: Thursday 20th September 
Time: 6pm 
Location: Shape. Deane House Studios, 27 Grenwood Place, London NW5 1LB

Please RSVP to jenny@shapearts.org.uk and let us know if you have any access requirements.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 5 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 September 2012

Within WIthout You - an Outsider Art Exhibition and blog

I will be exhibiting at the Within Without You Exhibition, as part of the the Bath Fringe Festival. The exhibition was the brainchild of Brian Robert Gibson, whom I met at some Outsider In training, and with some other artists who are part of Outsider In www.outsidein.org.uk/, plus a few from further afield, this exhibiton and blog came about to explore what it is to be an outsider.

As Brian says himself, this event is 'a space to explore where we are placed and where we place ourselves within any given spectrum.'  

The exhibition with be at: The Pet Store, 7 Upper Borough Walls, Bath, Avon BA1 1QR
25th May-10th June 2012 - 10am-6pm
Private View: Fri 25th May 6-9pm

The blog for the event, which showcases art and words from the outsider artists themselves, is at withinwithoutyou.info/

Here is an example of one of my poems from the blog:

LITHIUM SUN
You say my sun shines too bright,
but if you have had the dark clouds I’ve had,
you could give nothing less.
Yes, sometimes the sun blinds others.
But with it, I can just about see where I am going.

You can turn off the light if you want, you have the power.
You can give me back the dark room.
But once in there, you ask me to leave that too.

1000 watt or nothingness is me, I guess.
You can force the 50 watt on me, but it doesn’t fit the slot.
I have tried pushing it in; my soul is torn to prove it.

Until you change your light into one that fits,
one that shines and doesn’t laugh at dreams,
let me shine my way, until I can see where I am going,
and the sun can rest behind the trees.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 4 April 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 April 2012