Friday 5 September 2014

Chinese whispers

Chinese whispers _ Carol Peace Poetry Competition

Encouraging the freedom to find words

For me this dialogue between words and sculpture started many years ago with a poets visit to my open studio. John Terry wrote a few poems including ‘Listen’ that made me look again, the figure had a new story, a new life.

Sculpture can be like this. Maybe its just a suggestion to a thought, a step, a bridge to another story, I have my ideas but like chinese whispers the message is often reformed through other eyes.

Words are like this also, I listen to poetry or the prose in a song and it ignites something in me and I respond. Docket is in response to a Caitlin Rose song. The piece Man with Mouth Open is in response to the famous poem by Stevie Smith*. There was something in their words that resonated with me so I responded, I moved on the story.

I too like to play with words and I write terrible poetry but I don’t mind, its just when I can’t describe it in clay I use words, as Joan MirĂ³ said “I am neither a printmaker or a painter but someone who tries to express himself with all available means". 

This competition is about that freedom. Its about enjoying words no matter the skill level, I can’t spell and my grammar is shocking but I look and I see, and like an observational drawing I react to whats in front of me. Imagination is left for sculpture but my writing is like drawing, when you start looking you see more.

I do try to make my words good, it is not about not trying, but it is about not being afraid to start, its about the freedom to express ourselves, without a bit of confidence and a bit of freedom we can not start to be the best we can be. As John Terry said about my work back in 2006 “They are first of all, real people. They yearn but they also give. They rise, they don't fall. They strive; are eternal optimists. They look perhaps slightly disorientated, but there is no pleasure in falling, or in giving up, so they keep on. 'For us there is only the trying’ "

Competition Details
Write a piece of poetry or prose in response to a sculpture or group of sculptures at Carol’s Open Studio 6 - 16th November 2104
Or if you are not local to Bristol or find it difficult to get to the show then use these four sculptures for inspiration.
Love, Standing in the Wind, Personal Balloon and May
The prize is, of course, firstly the completion of your own poem, and secondly the winner of each of the three categories will receive a sculpture made to celebrate The Reading Agency.
Most loved poem any age by online voting system
Under 18
Under 12
Age limit - Under 18 - submit online with an optional donation to The Reading Agency
Closing Date - 30th November
Voting online and judging 1st - 14th December
Winners announced - 15th December
To be announced
The sculpture - made to celebrate The Reading Agency will be similar to the pictures below and 20% of all sales will go to The Reading Agency throughout the Open Studio event either online or at the show.



* if you listen to the wonderful clip of her speaking you will hear that she used her own drawings "Another thing I like doing with my poems is to illustrate them: I draw a lot and often a drawing will suggest a poem - it is often that way about. "- See more at:

**JOHN TERRY is interested in industrial archeology, bridges, and sunken wrecks. He believes that life consists of oddly-shaped pieces of rusty metal and sees poetry as an attempt to get all the rivet-holes to line up. He’s won two slams, four open poetry competitions and has been published in a number of otherwise respectable magazines including Acumen, Magma, and Smith’s Knoll. His narrative poem Insecurity Report is published by Driftwood and his collection Building Wings by City Chameleon.

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