responding to sculpture

Earlier this autumn, I was asked by Mid Wales Art Centre to be one of six poets commissioned to write pieces in response to sculptures they had on show. To add to the challenge, as Wales was under lockdown at the time, it wouldn’t be possible to visit them on location and we’d all need to work from photos.

The work I was asked to write about is by sculptor Alison Lochhead. And – now that I’ve been able to travel to the Centre and see the piece, set in the soft rolling grandeur of the Welsh countryside – I can confirm that the statue’s incredibly evocative, in a way I hope I’ve managed to capture in my poem.

All six poems were made possible by funding from Arts Council Wales, and on November 10th (the day after Wales came out of lockdown) we each travelled to Caersws so we could be filmed – socially distanced, of course – reading our work by the sculptures we’d written about. The completed video, filmed and edited by Matt Cook, was released yesterday. He’s done a phenomenal job: an artist filming artists responding to the work of artists.

It’s been a wonderful project to be part of, and my sincere thanks go out to everyone involved in making this commission possible. Pat and Cathy at Mid Wales Arts, Arts Council Wales, Matt Cook, and – first and foremost – the sculptors whose work inspired these six specially commissioned poems. You can see all of them in the video, here.

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