Stories Behind The Pictures

January 11, 2015

Episode 1 Poets & Painters

I am having an exhibition of work with Poet Frank Newsum at Yorkshire Wolds Gallery Staxton 10th-16th August 2015. Make a date in your diary!  We spent a few months last year working alongside each other, talking about our ideas and the way our work developed. It was a very fruitful experience-but more of that later. First I'd like to tell you about my previous collaboration with a writer which led to the publication of a collection of poems called

"Lonely Destiny" published by www.valleypressuk.com

"Turners & Clingers" By Nigel Folds Oil on canvas

This is the image used on the book's cover.

Deirdre McGarry, a writer & Poet, had written a collection of poems in response to a series of paintings of the Stations of the Cross by a contemporary German painter. She was wanting to publish the poems with these paintings as illustrations but wasn't able to get permission to do that. So she asked me if I would be interested in doing some illustrations for the book. 

When I read the poems I was struck by the intense dramatic nature of the work and was keen  to get involved in the project. I decided not to look at the pictures that had inspired Deirdre in the first place. I wanted the work I did to be my response to her poems, just as the poems were her response to the original pictures-like links in a chain. But how to find a way into it? 

The religious subject matter and the emphasis on drama made me think of the work of Giotto, which often focuses on a dramatic moment in the story, and seemed to have the same kind of intensity. I started looking at his paintings and did a series of oil and charcoal studies of characters and situations based on his work. Here is one of them.

Deirdre seemed to feel that these were just what she was hoping for and reflected the feelings she wanted to convey in the poems. We decided to go ahead with the project.

Next week, things take an unexpected turn - fun and games, and dressing up ..........

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