Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Burns Baby Burns

A double dosage of activity for Burns' Night this year:

In person (alongside Steve Lewis) I was performing at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, in gallery 5 (see right for our stage set). Which I absolutely loved - the gallery itself, right on bank of the River Calder was wonderful, both the building and its contents. Windows overlook the weir, a rush of thick glassy water that is completely silent from inside the building, and yet totally influences it, thorugh light, a slow moving dynamism and the send of transience. All of which is in evidence in Hepworth's sculptures.

The night was organised by Andrew McMillan, and he'd picked the perfect Gallery five for our seaside set. The sculptures behind us, being like huge flotsam, beachy creatures and the piece at the back a upended hull, so adding an extra dimension to the poems (apparently). Just before we went on Steve pointed out a quote from Hepworth saying that when she was making the aperatures (in wire mesh) for her bronze scultpures she felt as though she were creating a boat...

We were only one set of performers. Also enjoying the crazy acoustics of the gargantuan galleries were Helen Mort, Max Wallis, David Tait, Rommi Smith and the Leeds Young Authors.

Further north, in Dumfries, a poem of mine, 'Hammock', was featured on a window pane, in memory of how Burns used to etch his poems on windows. Windows for Burns Night is an inspired project to be a part of. I was joining many many others, including Jen Hadfield, Jean Sprackland, Tom Pow, Anne Caldwell, Jean Atkin, Jo Bell, Kim Moore and many many more...

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