Creative Writing @ Manchester Art Gallery (& Ovid)

Hello there,

have fallen out of the habit of blogging for the last few weeks, one of which was spent adventuring round Lanzarote! Even while holidaying, the Artipeeps transformation project has been absorbing me very much. Here is me trying to explain Ovid succinctly:

The Ovid myths are all centered on people turning into animals or stone, transformation legends they are called also. They are explanations of nature also, so a crow is black because it told a tale to a God who punished it by turning it’s white feathers black. The piece I’m working on at the moment includes a boy turning into a crane, his name is Cygnus, hence the word cygnet.

Took me the usual two hours to write a sestina for my Book Two response poem today! Extract featuring Cygnus:

He remembers fire, scorched dust, he deserts

the smoke of his memories, parched he leaves

to hatch by a lake, fire can’t stoke him awake,

stalking the marsh, where gentle water rocks.

Bones curdle to form a long white body,

his life from now on all mud and feathers.


Two hours well spent…


But Tuesday we got back from Lanzarote and Wednesday I did a Creative Writing session at the Art Gallery, which was very exciting. The photo is actually from last year’s sessions, as you can tell by the sculpture which is no longer in the Contemporary Gallery:

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery

The session yesterday was my response to the Postcards from the Past competition, anyone can enter, you write a 200 word postcard inspired by a historical person or event. So my workshop looked at Cornelia Parker‘s photographs of feathers from different people:

Feather that went to the Top of Everest

The feather photographed here was taken from the jacket of Rebecca Stevens, the first British woman to climb Mount Everest. Parker was interested by the irony that the white feather is traditionally a symbol of cowardice, and that it was taken to a height that birds cannot fly, reminding her of the story of Icarus (more Ovid times).

And we wrote postcards from Rebecca Steven’s imagined grandmother to her. One of which ended: we look forward to seeing you, if you survive. Pragmatic.

I’ll be writing up my Lanzarote writings soon! Some of which I’ll be editing into shape for the Recovery project. Really excited to be working on this with Hugo Smith creating abstract art in response to my poem. :D.



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