General Office Studios and Gallery, 12 Hagley Road, Stourbridge DY8 1PS
West Midlands

PoArtry has been in the new #Stourbridge arts venue General Office for nearly two weeks, ending on the 8th June.  A wonderful creation by the poet Rick Sanders to gather artists and poets together, build an audience and create stimulating cross overs between curious beings.

This is PoArtry’s third incarnation, first taking place at venues in Cradley Heath and Ledbury –  a marvellous Midland’s affair.

Over 40 artists and poets answered the call for interest.  An evening event was held at General Office on the 11th February for the grand draw –  poet, artist – a collaboration born, exhibition space viewed.  The pairings then had three months to work alongside and respond. The task was to share a piece of artwork/poem to your collaborator then reply with a piece of artwork/poem.  The final exhibition would show two art pieces and two poems.

The launch on the 24th June brought over 180 people to General Office. A lovely gift of news spreading and drawing forth a crowd.  We view artworks alongside their poems – from Haiku to acrostic – printing to stitching.  A diverse and wonderful set of imaginings.  This exhibition is a perfect reminder to see – spend time – ponder these collaborations.  The illuminating of text through paint, image seeping into the gaps of words feels often very playful and at times truly profound.

Questions arise –  how does the creative poet and artist operate? Independently and then together?  What is the seen and heard from each – how do words come into view and the view find form through words?  We understand the cracking open of the private activities of artists and poets can be a stubborn space to step into… risk, challenge, trust are sometimes uneasy bedfellows. ‘Creativity takes courage…’ said Matisse. We also wonder, for many that this is a vital and joyful opportunity – sharing, building and expanding practice.

On Sunday 2nd June we gathered for an afternoon of the poets performing.  Potent readings by Leah Atherton in response to Elena Thomas’s work, Rick Sanders in relation to Sarah Tamar’s vivid images.  Poets Calum Bate, Heddwen Bethan Creaney, Wendy Crickard and Adrian McKenzie all bring beautiful and vivid new synergies of voice and body to the artworks of Alan Glover, Elizabeth Griffiths, Catherine Jones and Guy Holness.

We thank and congratulate you all!

Check out twitter @GeneralOffice12 and Rick Sanders @brumradiopoets  for further news…




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