Thursday, 31 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Head of House

The Dissertation Series, in its second cycle returns with a poets response to Natural Artifice by Alice Maher at the Djanogly Art Gallery, Riverside- Nottingham, June 2007

Head of House

House without doors
House without windows
House with no one
Inside or out

Made of thorns
A protection of sorts
Or a suggestion

That home
Is all we have to cling to
Or that home is all we have
In our struggle to get away

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - To become a painter

The Dissertation Series continues in Belgium with a poets response to the Surreal and the Natural at the Ancient and Modern Exhibition with Various Artists from the Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, May 2007

To become a painter

Angel du Nord
All over the papers
All over the skyline
The Blind Light of confusion
Drips from my brow

That these words
Are the headline story
Is your transient momentous reward

Nine years
Six alone in preparation
Watching the light
Through the seasons
Cows crossing the Lys

That these words
Caught the tearful story
Is your lasting posthumous reward

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Placement

The dissertation Series second cycle takes the poet back to Belgium to reflect on the spiritual works in Lumière et Intériorité by Pierre Deuse at the Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule de Bruxelles - Brussels, May 2007


Straight lines
Frames arranged in a semi-circle
Around stone pillars and prayer rooms
Under arches and overhead vapours

You take your light
Through stained glass windows
Eulogise, from about now

Well some say
'It will be sometime soon'
For those of a deeper persuasion
A little while longer dwells the silent clock

Monday, 28 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Real to Reel

The Dissertation Series, in its second cycle sees the poet respond to Degree Show Open featuring Various Artists graduating from their BA (Hons) Fine Arts at University of Lincoln, Greestone Center, Lindum Hill - Lincoln, May 2007

Real to Reel

A sense of refined chaos, as if your fathers jam jar, full of screws and nails and picture hooks had been scattered on the floor, over an ordnance survey map of Lincolnshire and beyond

There was a plan, and a classy catalogue
Even so, as an exercise in disorientation
It was fabulously successful

Guys in high leg turned over leather boots
A sop to the roundheads
Or the cavaliers

Street scenes layered with a palette knife
To lift the slippery sloppy pavement
From the oily doily canvas

Unreeled cassette tape is nailed to the wall
A loop-less but continuous story
With the obligatory I don't give a fuck

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Self Portrait

The Dissertation Series continues its second cycle; the poet responds to WE THE MODERNS featuring Henri Gaudier-Brzeska at Graves Art Gallery - Sheffield, April 2007

Self Portrait

Reds, browns, yellows, oranges, greens
Cream, did you say cream
These were your colours were they Z-B?

Modigliani, Matisse, Alexander Archipenko
Auguste Rodin, Rodin did you say
And these were your eminent contemporaries Z-B?

I step sideways besides a Giacometti
Forwards, there a Pablo Picasso Tête de Femme
Sideways Giacometti, straight ahead Pablo Picasso

Slow down, stand back, take a breath
At the entrance, on the wall - a self portrait
The pastel chiselled features of a most attractive younger man

A short life, she the second part of your name
A woman almost twice your age, such life in a short life
Home thoughts from abroad, in your own self portrait

Context: Your contemporaries live forever
Pretext: The war came, you never…

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Craft

The Dissertation Series, second cycle, takes the poet to react to art and craft combined, at the Seeing Dragons Exhibition featuring Nora Fok at the Harley Gallery - Worksop, March 2007


Mind concentrations sat aloft the stand
Obsessions foraged from the land
A thousand seed reductions are given to the need
The Million Dollar Collar by-passes inner greed

Friday, 25 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Misinformed

The Dissertation Series second cycle is in Spain at The Curve of Destiny Exhibition a poets response to artwork by by Jesûs Mari Lazkano, Guggenheim Museum - Bilbao, March 2007


Why do we need to explain, why do we need to intellectualise? Why do we need to say more about the art, than does the art itself? Does then the explanation become the significant part? Does the explanation, well presented, become the main event?

On the big screen
In the side stream viewing booth
The power of the moving image
The force of multi-media
A darkened space, a mood
A voice with timbre & only
A chosen number to view

No book
No guide
No historical perspective
Outwith of the one performed
For the indiscriminately invited patrons

Understand it my way seems to be the message
Or do not begin to imagine that you understand it anyhow at all

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Shadow Machine

The Dissertation Series continues its second cycle of a poets instant responses to art at the Abstraction - Extracting from the World Exhibition, Millennium Gallery - Sheffield, February 2007

Shadow Machine

Tick tock - stop
Please everybody slow down
Let's begin with a whisper
Tip - top, slow-down, stop

A pin point balance, rocking to and fro
The metronome swings towards home
Its shade travels ever so slight behind
For now it is the afterglow

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Aged

The Dissertation series second cycle responds to the Sojourn Exhibition featuring Derek Sprawson at the Bend in the River Gallery - Gainsborough, February 2007


Emeritus, older than fortune, older than tomorrow
Before faith

Columbine, twisted contortion, further than forever
Beyond hope

Kingdom of creation, taste of red wine, blue blood
Always with or without

Beauties, moods, bittersweet emotions
Exiled by the hostility, lately
Of doubt or light

Monday, 21 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Line Drawing

The 2nd cycle of the Dissertation Series continues with a response to the Delineate Exhibition featuring Matthew Shelton at Dean Clough Gallery - Halifax, February 2007

Line drawing

Dark and once satanic
Yorkshire art in Yorkshire space
The derelict carpet canvasses rung out
Fettled back into a new loom of life

Not a time to make sense
I too missed my five minutes of fame
It needs more room
Clutter amongst clutter becomes cluttered

Art gallery
Insurance company headquarters
Utilitarian hotel

The exhibition
It will soon be about
Being settled, back here

In place of life

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Awkward but Useful

The Dissertation Series begins its 2nd cycle by responding to the Looking at Self Exhibiton featuring Lucy Jones at the Usher Gallery - Lincoln, January 2007

Awkward but Useful

Untouched by human hand
Kept at bay, always at a distance

Abused by aficionados
Held up on high, for paraplegic parasites
Pillars of establishment
With crooked views on impaired expectations
Sour water
I have drunk from the black bottomless well

Unmoved by human voice, held off
Always some for instance

Down I sink, deeper into the dungeon
Abducted for an exhibition with a catalogue
I am bound with words and pictures
Opened at random
Go away why don't you
Or else move in

Move in much closer
Don't stand, unmoved, at a distance

Friday, 18 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Landscape 1941, 1942, 1943

The Dissertation Series concludes its first round of a poets response to art, at the Poets in the Landscape Exhibition, featuring Various Artists, in the Pallant House Gallery - Chichester, May 2007

Landscape 1941, 1942, 1943

Wilder curves, smaller moons engulfed by flora and fauna
What with the pleurisy and reading Rimbaud & Blake
No longer now composing
No longer now with pen in hand
Moonlit in the ruins, the serpent of a tree
Archway to a brighter place, with a bird catcher and a poet

They stand guard, in tight leggings and slippers, it is a complicated pose
More time now to ponder, though still to wear the hat
All thoughts for the mind to wander
It's here they're fair isle flew

A mountain range, a far away vision
Still the leggings and the slipper style of shoe
The whiteness in the eyes, mindful or insane
Either way it is back along
Far and away beyond my view

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Heads of State

The Dissertation Series continues with an indoor and outdoor affair: Natural Artifice by Alice Maher at the Djanogly Art Gallery, Riverside - Nottingham, June 2007

Heads of state

The road sign says: No horse racing on the carriageway
A good job on that day - for you were well past racing
Your racing days were over
All your days were over

It was the first time that I had seen a glass and crystal coffin carriage
Horse drawn, groomed for the occasion
You would have liked the sign Road closed for a funeral procession
Hundreds, maybe thousands of well wishers
Stand back, make way, by notices they are instructed

The sun shone then as the sun shines now - outside the gallery
Inside, a casket: Lacrymatory - The Jerpoint kick-starts the memory
Of someone I never ever knew
Though I know now, my chasing days too are almost over
All of those days are almost over

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Enter

The dissertation Series continues, still in Belgium, now trying to reach my spiritual side, at the Lumière et Intériorité Exhibition featuring Pierre Deuse, in the Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule de Bruxelles, Brussels, May 2007...if only you could have heard the spine tingling singing during the blessing service


One more line, one more etched away corner
One more hour of darkness, one more morning to dawn
Take me to your dreamer, out of my imagination
Take me then redeemer, out beyond creation

One more - wait before the brushstroke
One more - wait before the breath
Take me as I seem
Take me freely, coming clean

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Beware

The Dissertation Series continues with a birthday celebration and a knife attack in the main square of Belgium's capital city; in and among the excitement a chance to take in and respond to the Ancient and Modern Exhibition featuring Various Artists at the Musee Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, May 2007


Dubois, perhaps of De Beauvoir
Shadows; encounters that play with light
Travellers of the world unite as fragments
In the underground concrete departments

Be aware
Meet my friend; he is the one with the knife
Who desires, due to the affair with his wife
To end your life

Sad to have descended
The evening's gaiety upended
Anger lies beside the selfless bonds of consolation
As we delve into your darker nation

Ambient explanations to still the ruffled mind
Silent conversations to view the uneasy interior
Hazily ordained deportations cram the adventurer

Less plain
The particular exploitations to hustle
The all alone, after dark street walker

Monday, 14 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - On Leaving the Exhibition

The Dissertation Series joins the graduating art students with the Degree Show Open Exhibition featuring Various Artists on the BA (Hons) Fine Arts Course at the University of Lincoln, Greestone Center, Lindum Hill, Lincoln, May 2007

On leaving the exhibition

I strode up the Greestone steps
In the pouring rain
At the top I caught my breath

In the Cathedral Garden
I thought of the depth
And was perplexed

As before
On another ceremonious occasion

Opening drawers
Watching butterflies take to the sky

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Gaudier-Brzeska Line

The Dissertation Series continues with a response to the WE THE MODERNS Exhibition featuring Henri Gaudier-Brzeska at a fairly overcrowded Graves Art Gallery - Sheffield, April 2007

Gaudier-Brzeska Line

Cut it straight
Point out the detail
Turn the corner
The war is upon us

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Million Dollar Collar

The Dissertation Series turns to Craft as Art with the response to the Seeing Dragons Exhibition featuring Nora Fok at the Harley Gallery, Worksop, March 2007

A million dollar collar

Safety pins and tweezers
The parachutes of artichoke seed heads

If ever one thing confirmed the beauty of art and craft
If ever one exposition showed the complement of art and craft
If ever doubt was mistaken in the search for truth
If ever life for youth

Don't go there
For you are art; however here we see you

Friday, 11 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Separatists

The Dissertation Series continue, this time from Spain with The Curve of Destiny Exhibition featuring Jesûs Mari Lazkano at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, March 2007


Leave your shadows underground
Let life
Bring your light to the surface

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Miami

The dissertation Series continues with responses to the Abstraction, Extracting from the World Exhibition, Various Artists, Millennium Gallery - Sheffield, February 2007


I don't think so, no I'm sure
We never ever have met

By the washing powder you say
Well, unless it was special offers

I doubt it though
I'd be most unlikely to stray so far

Cameras roll

Pan in pan out - cut across the set
Ladies; in the aisles please

I don't think so, no I'm sure
We never ever have met

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Iris Flex

The Dissertation Series continues with Sojourn by Derek Sprawson at the Bend in the River Gallery, Gainsborough, February 2007

Iris flex

Trapeze, wired to the sky
Sinusoidal over the still void that lies below
Skip so dainty, faint lines
Muslin curtains
Hitch a ride swinging so
Go gentle to and fro

Downalong to the strains of string guitars
And the outdoor rhythms of the pavement splashing sedans

Deserts and torpedoes
Cauliflower and rice
Children's toys inflected
Projected film
Spines to splice; sliced, laced
Traced in ever finer lines
Mains braced in suspension

Common kindness
On the boundaries of comprehension
Passed the treacheries, beyond the tension

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Mirror Image

More from the Dissertation Series, this time a response to the Delineate Exhibition featuring Matthew Shelton at Dean Clough Gallery - Halifax, February 2007

Mirror image 

Catch 22 at Delineate
Your art in lines
On lost and found and printed paper
Tea party words saved for a canvas
Backdrops collected from the streets
For your de-linear exhibition space

Is this a breach of copyright?
Or did you gain your permissions from the original graphic artists
Or typesetters
Or menu makers
Or authors, or writers
Or tramps, or vagrants
Or ladies of the night
Or your otherwise
Catch-22 mad hatters

Monday, 7 March 2011

Artistic Motivation - Trapped

The first poem from the Dissertation series, written whilst visiting Lucy Jones' Exhibition Looking at Self in Lincoln's Usher Gallery, January 2007.


A double gin injected with tomato juice and liquorice syrup
The consistency of Havoline engine oil, but less fluid
Tumbled over rocks, sharp spikes, granite cliffs
Hung, as if suspended from the Old Man of Hoy
Hung-over, above the crashing sea

Twisted, contorted, bare feet find a footing - the drugs kick in
Sod the lot of them; but that won't do relax, reflect
Climb with uneasy wild steps, burn those broken step bridges
Beyond the smoke of roast skin, keep the fires, the braziers, the beacons

Always the shout - bastards, why me, why anyone?
Twitch, shudder, slaver on the pavement - bugger it
If only for a day I could wear more human, less humanoids shoes

Friday, 4 March 2011

Some Trickier Poems with Conflicts

How many times can the one man poet fail, how many lines of missed pronunciation
Smile to yourself lad, you self publishing fool, its cool to
I have to make up rules, I have to find a proof reader
Engaged with my own over enthusiastic pool of talents
The rush is done, the pages are loaded
I will be goaded no more, no more do you hear
For I fear the corrections will never end
Please friend (or foe) take it as read
Instead of complaint show some restraint, praise me for me
It's free after all, so let it be, let it be