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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Nigel Henderson / 24 September 2012

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.

Keywords: art,collage,nigel henderson,outsider art,outsider artists,poetry