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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Alfred Wallis / 21 September 2012

painting of four boats with black sails and a lighthouse on a rough sea

Four Boats by a Lighthouse. Gouache on Wood. Alfred Wallis 1855-1942

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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?



Keywords: alfred wallis,art,artist,exhibition,gallery,outsider art,outsider artists,pallant house gallery,poetic response