Monthly Archives: October 2014

update for a creative date

shetland arts logo presents Wordplay 2014 

Bookmark it,

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make a date:

Tuesday 11 November 2014,

a venue: 2nd Floor Meeting Room, Mareel, Lerwick, and a time: 1900-2100 GMT

Book your ticket at The Lerwick Box Office… Come along and enjoy 🙂

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Ailleurs

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Somewhere else…
Today is a PJ & blanket day on my latitude, as October shows its more familiar face – rain & gale filling a titanium sky. I shan’t complain, as Hairst (that wonderful Shetlan word for autumn, and more accurately the “time for harvest”) has been exceptionally dry, with a sky that would make a jeweller proud!

Time to rewind life’s clock and look again at September.
September, a strange month in many respects – the “go-betweener” – Equinox, halfway though light & darkness… A time when I wish to clone myself to be in different places at once, including Hanse House in King’s Lynn to help launch a book of poetry & art for the Transformations’ Project…
Yet this September was different, for I spent it in between Lerwick & Lübeck.

Dates are fascinating.

1814, Norway begins to taste democracy… Sir Walter Scott lands in Lerwick at Robert Stevenson’s (RLS’s grandfather) invitation.
1914, Western & Central European nations slide into total war, entailing the peoples from their respective empires, and which they believe will finish at Christmas, fleur au canon… An old order crumbled into the vacuum victors wrote as History.
On a more personal level,
1984, second (and last) participation to a school exchange with Herborn, Hessen, Germany. Fantastic experience as a pupil to learn & understand about culture from the “other side of the Rhine” and first-hand experience (eye witness) to the impact of land occupation when traveling to “die Grenze”, the frontier – no man’s land area created by the bi-polar world since 1949. A world, Europe, country divided by a “Cold War”, itself a by-product of WWII. The sight of barb wire, watch towers & tanks, respectively Soviet & US, with guards armed to the teeth remains forever tattooed in my memory.
2014 – Germany reunified (since Oct 1990) in a more homogeneous and harmonised Europe (although a world which still bears the scars of the Cold War in some respects…) and a formidable opportunity to help empower 22 young Shetlanders to experience a slice of life with their respective German partners in Schleswig-Holstein, in & around Reinfeld, thanks to a well established German Exchange, the brainchild of my Anderson High School colleague Peter Haviland. This time, I would go as staff, together with my other accompanying colleague, Stephen Arnold.

And what a fabulous opportunity it has been to empower our pupils, equipping them with a very valuable life experience, developing life skills, enabling them to taste continental life in a thriving culture – making them aware of cultural as well as linguistic differences, and, maybe inspiring them in a way in developing language skills at some point in their life… I still remember some of our young participants expressing frustration when communicating, and realising how unfair it felt “not to speak as good German as their German counterparts could speak English”… Serious awareness. Come think of it, and not (too) too long ago, when Shetland was part of a Hanseatic world, with Lübeck as its capital, Shetland fishermen had found a linguistic compromise to understand and be understood by the German fish merchants with whom they were trading; and develop it later on with the Dutch merchants… Shetland’s own dialect borrowed many words from the old Frisian tongue – not only Norse words from the Viking world.

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Our pupils were formidable ambassadors for our school, community and ultimately, Scotland. The guests of Reinfeld’s school, KGS, or die Immanuel Kant Gemeinschaftschule, for their 10th Anniversary, our young Shetlanders put to the stage their own spirit & dancing skills, which, in turn, encouraged German participation and applause from the Reinfeld community.
Watching them dance, smile, explore, discover new things, new places, and listening to them sharing their reactions to daily challenges, their emotions throughout their respective voyage of discovery has contributed to a fantastic human adventure.

Schleswig-Holstein was, like Berlin itself, uncharted territory to me. Returning to a (re-) unified Germany with a unified capital proved to be a wonderful slice of life. So great to bathe into such culture and language – to “switch” again into the Germanic way of life, weaving new bonds with colleagues from Reinfeld and reinforcing existing professional bonds with my Shetland ones. Affectionately, I called us Les Trois Mousquetaires, after Alexandre Dumas, very aptly so.

We – pupils & staff – returned home with a collection of stories & fabulous memories to treasure.
Proud of our young generation 🙂

Here, selected images as illustration.

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Poetics came through words too.

Tattoo –
Brücke, Glocken und
die Amsel,
Königin der
Hanse
#haiku #micropoetry
da brig, da bell an
da blackie,
queen oda
Hanse

———————–
Die Glocke – bell
die Amsel – blackbird
—–

Peerie Fat Man
(an icon fae old Ost Berlin)

Tiergarten,
Tauentzienstraße KaDeWe,
du, peerie fat
man;
Pariser or
Potsdamer Platz,
Check Point Charlie,
Karl Marx Allee,
Peerie fat
man;
bear & eagle as your guardian –
I noticed you in
red & green,
peerie fat
man –
short-legged with a
felted hat,
on either side,
plump,
iconic –
peerie fat
man in
the
traffic.

© Nat Hall 2014

—————

To my German Exchange AHS S4 Pupils

Flying Lasses

Travemünde,
terminal
line,
where
foliage chimes
in between light & Baltic Sea,
and acorns ripe in
September,
you dare and dance,
harnessed to
life –
hooked between
clouds & gravity,
against bark of
greenest
forest,
your
heart beats
fast,
metal cable
will keep you high;
high as a kite amid branches,
velocity veils frantic
wings of
butterflies that
spread across in
your stomach, as you glide from
helm to oak tree.

From
forest floor,
you look a spider in
my eyes,

Sur le filin, l’épeire diadème.

———
For Kelvin A., S4 AHS Pupil in Reinfeld, KGS’s 10th
Anniversary.

Star Dancer –
sleek on his feet,
meticulous on every step,
even the wind embraced his whirls, as he showed
everyone the
way,
Boston Two Steps.
He made us
proud.

© Nat Hall 2014

—-

 

All words, images and verse © Nat Hall 2014

And, oh, to avoid any confusion, “Peerie Fat Man” is that little red/green man from the German traffic lights, as photographed below 🙂

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Filed under 2014, 60N, colours, earth, geopoetics, home, images, island, lerwick, life, north, shetland, spirit, world, writing

out

Transformations

ArtiPeeps’ 15 month collaboration between world poets & artists – celebrated on 12-14 September at Hanse House in King’s Lynn, Norfok, England, edited by the Project’s Curator, now comes to you in its printed form.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses revisited and fit for our 21st Century world.

Just click on the link and order your copy.
It will transform you!

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poetry day 2014

It is today, so enjoy it! UK National Poetry Day IMG_6771.JPG

Mine is painted in pink & blue as observed from this morning’s luminous sunrise 🙂

Here, my humble stone to the edifice,
with a poem dedicated as a token of geopoetical friendship:

For Tanja M., host, friend and Lübeckerin

Lübeck-Lerwick

In Between Lübeck & Lerwick,
there is only a thin blue
line,
forest of domes
in shades of green,
where bell towers echo
warm chimes,
their
majesty,
red & black
brick – a bric-à-brac
lost inside time…
In between
Lübeck & Lerwick,
there are waterways as
lifelines,
olive-green
painted iron brigs*,
our sense of place among
islands, miles of
cobbled streets where
footprints tattoo themselves
and find a home.
In between
Lübeck & Lerwick,
there are white sails rigged to
our hearts, wooden floors
polished out of dreams,
where we wander
in between
doors
now
left
for a
lifetime.

* brigs = Shetlan word 4 bridges

© Nat Hall 2014

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The Nine Realms: Our Next Epic Collaboration

The next big project overview from our Curator, Nicky Mortlock

ArtiPeeps

Vikings

Vikings Ahoy!

On Monday the 6th October 2014 our next epic large-scale project will be starting with the posting of an overview of the realm Asgard in Norse Mythology. The online part of our collaboration will run for 9 months and is inspired by the 9 realms of the Norse world. Like with Transformations,  The Nine Realms will culminate in a 5 day exhibition in Hanse House, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, UK across the Heritage Open Day weekend.  We’re not only excited to deepen our connection with King’s Lynn, but to also draw in more disciplines. There’s going to be music, a Viking boat is being carved my sculptor Mark Crowley and we’re having a comic corner and a more up-front promotions corner for the creatives involved.

This year we are bringing together near on 50 creatives from all disciplines, some have crossed over from Transformations and there are well over…

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Transformations: Art, and Meeting Face-to-Face

ArtiPeeps

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Supported with public funds by Arts Council England.

Supported by Norfolk County Council.

Pre-amble

Firstly,  let me share this link to the newspaper article that was written by The Lynn News in response to Transformations. It sums up the whole experience entirely: ‘ArtiPeeps King’s Lynn exhibition ‘rip-roaring success”:

http://goo.gl/4uNuUh

And here’s the Wordle I did of the Evaluation Sheet we had at the exhibition (click to enlarge):

Cloud 17

For me, the most interesting evaluatory word in real terms amidst all of the above is the word ‘Confused’.  This lone word is potentially a real point of growth and development for us. What we presented to a viewing audience was a huge swathe of material that nearly everybody appreciated in someway, but that maybe still needs to be contextualised more for better understanding.  It’s made me ask: do we need more explanatory information?; how can we best guide people around our projects? are we…

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October 1, 2014 · 6:10 am