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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 - Frank Auerbach

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 Frank Auerbach’s ‘Head of Julia II’

The lines that make the soul
So easily unravel
And no instruction manual
To put the pieces back together
Few people try
The artist tries 

The artist
Haunts with paint
And makes strange sounds
With colour
The flesh dragged as
The rainbow scars itself
with a rusty razor 

What is the artist saying?
You have to step closer to hear
Until the dry paint sucks you in
And you disappear into the frame forever
Knowing what a thousand words
cannot say. 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 23 September 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 24 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