Contribute to the FWS Patchwork Poem! To mark National Poetry Day 2017 (celebrated on Thursday 28th September), the Federation of Writers Scotland would like to invite members to contribute to a ‘Patchwork Poem’ on this year’s NPD theme of ‘Freedom’. A Patchwork Poem or Cento is assembled from fragments of poetry, and we’re asking Federation members to […]
Paul Bloomer’s latest exhibition ar the Shetland Museum & Archives in Lerwick, Scotland, UK, feels an epic saga in charcoal, cladding the whitest of walls inside da Gadderie, that non-static space devoted to the muable world.
The huge pictures felt they had been tailored to perfection. Paul needs to create his own creative time at his Bigton studio when he is not lecturing at the Shetland College at Gremista, or travelling to Europe with (or without) his students.
My top favourite picture – swans’ flight – was inspired by a recent trip to Vienna… A regular visitor to Spiggie Loch as a visual artist or devoted angler, I was both surprised and amused to hear it on Sunday as Paul spoke of each charcoal on paper gigantic pictorial metaphors.
Originally from the Black Country, Paul anchored his heart & art on this symbolic latitude where time and space are regulated by light and darkness in that perpetual dance of seasons.
However, as an islander, he too looks at the world in a unique perspective.
And he works like a poet or a writer, with a pocket size sketchbook, to capture moments he will later reproduce on a gargantuan scale…
Paul makes parallels between people and avian migration. His dreams transcend through circles… Black versus white.
He constantly reminds us how mankind generates that poisoning world, itself pictured as a leitmotive throughout and in various ways, metaphors, as Paul reflects on each throughout that Sunday afternoon stroll in his presence.
Paul the environmentalist – politically engaged… Raged by a poisoning world, in which political disciples hide, such as those deduced by populism. His charcoal stick does not fail to challenge the viewer…
He nonetheless searches for lightness through nature, to find love and sensuality among geese, swans or starlings, Shetland’s commonest and yet captivating birds.
Sensuality expressed though the oneness of entangling whooper swans.
Paul very aptly entitled his exhibition a prayer for the healing of nations.
A must see. 🙂
From a fair sailor I admire Down Under. Sara Toa is is gifted writer I read from my island with delight… A change of blog won’t stop me from enjoying this wonderful wordsmith of prose.
Enjoy it too, if you have not done so yet.
I owe her the back cover photograph of my book, a lifetime friendship on a plate, a well of laughters and shared moments of emotions…
We are woman, beautiful.
I met Aneta Lukzikova through Anita Orheim (see blog post “Vakker #wearewoman “) over a decade ago. Like Anita, Aneta was then in academic transit and decided to establish her own “hame” on this latitude. Our friendship blossomed through time and shared slices of life. We earned each other’s trust and respect gracefully, travelled the length and breadth of our islands, and even crossed the sea last summer to reconvene with Anita on her homeground for a weekend of sheer happiness in and around Fana. I had promised Aneta a beer in Bergen, we did just that. Today, we know ourselves pretty much inside out.
Of this, I’m very proud. Forever grateful to have her friendship, her love and trust as a woman and a close friend, so close I can call her my Czech sister.
For you, dear Aneta, I am going to improvise you a poem as I’m typing,
We have travelled so many roads,
crossed many bridges,
sea, earth marks.
listened and dried
so many blueprints from cold rain;
laughed at my face by
the White Wife,
helped me to
We crossed the sea to
share a pint,
taste simple pleasures in Bryggen to reconvene with
our own clan made in Norge.
And every time
dear Czech sister,
you offered me a hearth and smiles.
I am in awe of your pure
© Nat Hall 2017
“Nat, I challenge you to a short poem…” I still remember Chris’ words one fine evening at the Mareel Café in Lerwick during one memorable Open Mic’ Night in 2016.
At the time, little did I know those words would generate such a fabulous collaboration with Visitors – a trio of very talented singer/songwriters based in Shetland (till band member Chris Grant left last autumn for his Glasgow homeground with a mix bag of excitement and sadness…).
To the poet, writing for a band feels playful and self-indulgent.
Whilst band member Chris Grant has known my writing from 2012 through the National Theatre of Scotland’s Ignition project, fellow members Cha Johnson and Andy Kinnear have been exposed to my poetical world from the Shetland Open Mic Night sessions. When it came to their project as a band, they had some of my spoken words in mind for the purpose of one song when the opportunity arose. Whilst they were assembling an EP later named after the final lines of my short poem, I quickly scribbled a very short piece recollecting my “first time” as a then visitor to 60N. This recollection never left my heart and mind, so magical and powerful this very first experience felt, and became imprinted in my heart forever.
This I translated into words,
submitted to Chris, who immediately related to the piece. Perfect was his response. And left it like this, until he recorded me in a tiny office on his last day at work.
Although I had no idea of what was really happening, I later received words from Chris explaining me about Visitors’ plans and project. A bigger picture began to shape in my head. With Chris in Glasgow, I left the spoken word in good hands. Meanwhile, Shetland Times journalist and singer/songwriter Adam Guest penned an article in the islands’ weekly. More light on Visitors‘ work!
An EP to be launched in Shetland
So little did I know Visitors would launch their work at this year’s Shetland Folk Festival in South Nesting. News filtered gradually via all three members earlier this spring. I still remember Cha’s lovely words- both at Gutters’ Gaet and Andy’s… We all turned more excited about such launch! From Cha’s messages to the rehearsals at Islesburgh and Clairmont Place, I discovered the entire EP, tasted fabulous slices of life (as well as Andy’s newly improved home made chilli con carne!) in fabulous company; a wild ride in Andy’s car to listen to the CD newly arrived in his lair, and reconvened with Chris and Roo.
On the night, 29 April 2017
Whilst Visitors had already invested the South Nesting Public Hall for the indispensable sound check, I joined in with the audience. Familiar and other faces lined up against the wall, ticket in hand. The air was crisp in a dry though overcast world… I left the comfort of my peerie buggy as soon as I saw my trio of artistes emerging from the building. Reunited on the night for the gig! Hugs, smiles and kind words filled our hearts.
Little did I realise the concert would be performed in a jam packed hall with other great bands following in our footsteps…
And Chris invited me on stage to close the act, whilst reading those words I once scribbled about “little did I know this would mean home”. The act well, very well received by the audience on this fun night of performance. Maggie already released in iTunes. The rest of the EP to follow in the great digital constellation of the apple.
Happy poet, humble and thanking you, dear Visitors for such an epic adventure 🙂
Tattooed in my heart forever.