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This Diverse Perspective is looking for the heart of Portugal Prints

 My mind is sunshine distilled through a bed of nails, shining but hard to hold, especially also when the skin feels like shifting sands, and the soul and its perceptions seem like a mirage. 

What is grounding me and connecting me to the world are lots of artistic projects. There is a new one on the horizon: I will be part of a project, still in its infancy, that hopes to explore unusual mental states and film, which will be launched in March 2013 at the Barbican, where one of my films will be shown. 

But the thing at the moment that is stroking and calming my amphetamised wings is making this film of Portugal Prints for Diverse Perspectives, commissioned by DAO and the Royal Academy. 

When I researched the film, I went to visit Portugal Prints at one of their bases in Soho. The first thing that hits you is the warmth of the place, you are instantly accepted as family. So I decided to make a film exploring the heart of Portugal Prints. I am very near the end of making the film, just two more days of filming next week. I have already filmed their haiku event at the Tate Modern; I have interviewed Kate Horbury, the ex-access officer of the Royal Academy, about her love affair with Portugal Prints; and I have filmed a linocut printing workshop at the Royal Academy, run by the artist Phil Baird and the amazingly named Becky Jelly, which was attended by Portugal Print members who created some beautiful stuff. 

The crux of the film though will be the filming next week, where I will film at the Soho base and interview members about art, mental health, and the heart, which for so many has been told to shrink, but where at Portugal Prints, you see the greenhouse of hearts grow.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 8 December 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 December 2012

Haiku for Mental Health Day at the Tate Modern.

 On October the 13th, as part of DAO 'Diverse Perspectives' Programme, I will be filming the Mental Health Day event at the Tate Modern. My film is about Portugal Prints . They are awesome and amazing and inspiring, and it will be a honour to follow them around for the day, filming their Haiku event.


This is what they say of their event:

The Haiku Festival 2012 is a pilot online social media event developed by Westminster Mind’s art project Portugal Prints. On Saturday the 13th October 2012 between 1.00pm and 5.30pm we will be holding a public event at Tate Modern where people can participate in writing their own verse (there will be a selection of beautiful handmade papers to choose from) are creating your own images, which will then be strung to an installation along with some of the best Tweets. There is already media interest in the event so anyone who is intending to join us who maybe photophobic should wear their ‘Free Pussy Riot’ balaclavas.

If you can't attend this free event, you can twitter your haikus to @Haiku_2012

 

This is my haiku, inspired by the upcoming event:

On Mental Health Day

I capture the poetry

Of Portugal Prints

 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 30 September 2012

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 30 September 2012

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Paul Nash's 'Wittenham'

 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.

Poetic Response to Paul Nash’s ‘Wittenham’

Skies are distant blue
Beautiful
But there’s separation
The scenery in the distance can never be
grasped; it needs you to be far away from it
he doesn’t want to be far away from it
he wants to cup the sky
and take it home with him.

But always go back empty-handed.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 27 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 March 2013

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Auerbach's 'Reclining Head'

 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 Auerbach’s ‘Reclining Head’

The dreaming bones
Drags the flesh
And steps on flowers

The heart is in there
Somewhere
Blistering truth
With every breathe
And every smile
A lie

What is it in the human
Gene that does this?

The DNA
the ‘do not activate’
helix
That twists the soul
In on itself
And unravels  
The genotype
Of a broken soul

Dreaming...

Posted by Dolly Sen, 26 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 March 2013

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Barbara Hepworth

 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 Barabara Hepworth’s ‘Single Form’

 Do you know what it is to be an outsider?

It is black and white for the world to see.

They think they are in the light

And we stand in the darkness

But they don’t see a light

That can burn

A hole through stone

 

The outsider knows the pierced form

The outsider is the pierced form

 

We are not the paint, not the stone

Not the ink, not the clay

 

We are what is left behind

 

You see a hole where the heart is

We see a heart where the hole is.

 

Poor you.

 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 26 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 March 2013

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Nigel Henderson

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.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 24 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 25 September 2012

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Scottie Wilson

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.

Poetic Response to Scottie Wilson’s ‘Peaceful Vase’

A vase of a thousand pieces
Is beautiful
Perfection is boring
Broken pieces can be put together
A thousand different ways
The human being is art
Not a photocopy
Of a photocopy
Not plastic flowers
In a plastic vase
Not a plastic smile
In a plastic heart.

The heart is a pen
“It seems to make me draw
and I can’t stop the flow.”

I have to surround evil
With beauty
Surround greedies
With a thousand lines
Of kindness
Thank goodness
For the 1000 broken pieces
In my head

No need to draw the table
As table
“It’s all writ out for you – the moves
you make.”

So let your heart, your pen
Move you

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 24 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 25 September 2012

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Patrick Caufield

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.

Poetic Response to Patrick Caufield’s ‘Reserved Table’

The perspective of the lobster
Seems a little flat
But this crustacean is deep
He loves philosophy, physics
and dining out,
picking humans out of tanks
for dinner
conversation, out of pity 

He much prefers to converse with the table
But the table is a little reserved
“Come on table, don’t be shy…
I know we live in a blue world
But there is always the bigger picture
Where outside the frame
I was free 

Where I swam oceans in the moonlight
And read philosophy on the beach
My favourite philosopher is Wittgenstein
He said ‘A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked
and opens inwards;
as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.’” 

A waiter came and served the lobster onto the reserved table
The table felt its warmth
And knew what the lobster said was true.
And began to edge itself
Slowly out of the frame.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 22 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 September 2012

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

Poetic Responses to Outsider Artist - Mark Gertler

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 my poetic response to Mark Gertler's 'Near Swanage'.

Painting sublime scenes
But not seeing loveliness
I have to create beauty
To drown the ugliness
Behind my eyes, all
The horror I have seen
And known, and cannot
Blink away; my eyelids
Are broken wings.

The edge of the brushstroke
Is the battlefield
Will the war for my soul
Be won?

Can I scar the canvas
With enough grace
To save the world
Behind it?

Can I make the world
Beautiful enough
To save my soul?

I want to save my soul.
Will the world let me?

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 19 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 23 September 2012