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> > > View the Con.Text by artist and writer Gini

30 January 2012

Introduction

View the Con.Text is a unique audience engagement project by artist and writer Gini.

Visitors were invited to take a comfy seat and chat about their own journeys and their thoughts on the 'The View from Here' exhibition, which took place at Salisbury Arts Centre from 9th November to 23 December 2011.

These conversations are the basis for poems and texts which accumulated in the space as gathering evidence of Gini's "sitting-in-residence." They were scrolled on a screen in the Cafe Gallery Space, and displayed in print as they evolved, in the main walk-through Gallery.

Conversation and words: Gini.
Exhibited work: Martin Bruch, Juan delGado, Aidan Moesby.

28th October – and my first meeting with Aidan.

I follow my instinct to write, to find a way to begin the project.

Still; behind a helmet mask
of stunning hair, I’m worried
he’s not thrilled to hear my thoughts
about his work. Bold, I said,
courageous - I only use
the words that pop into my
head; my catwalk words. They pounce
and then they run; no pausing.
No invitation to dig
or delve, no clues to colour.
But don’t you just hate that brave
and patronised disabled
thing? Yet brave demands to be
in this picture. Brave is one
who holds a word and takes its
DNA so stunningly apart.

30 October - a personal reaction to the idea of filming falling. Inspired by Martin Bruch’s Bruchlandungen

After my meeting with Aidan, I turn to virtual reality to “meet” Juan and Martin, attempting, via my computer, to familiarise myself with some of the work that will be exhibited.

Mother Earth has slapped me in the face
more times than I can now remember.
Grass in my ears and geraniums
stuffed up my nose leave nothing but smiles.
But lying under the hurrying
feet of the subway rush-hour left me
bruised and traumatised for days on end.
So yes, I used to do falling; lots,
indeed falling is familiar;
a way of being. Although now I’ve
found my seat I just drop things instead.

5th November - wondering how to respond to Juan delGado’s poetic Le Reve de Newton, I am reminded of a journey I make on my way to the Arts Centre, and its surreal call on my heart.

Although I am clear about what I aim to offer and achieve, I have not yet given the work a name. This will be influenced by the reactions and responses of people visiting Salisbury Arts Centre during the period of the exhibition; I am currently described as Sitting in Residence.

My heart lifts to the autumn tweeds
mirrored in pirouettes of laughing water:
whorls that cradle my thorny roses
blood-red on the river wild.
And the clarity of frost draws me.
The magnetic song of the north
bleeds over the water;
heart’s-home creeps towards me,
seeking, holding me in its breath.
The familiar longing
gathers momentum,
pulses and splashes
from single tear
to vast open sea;
just flirting,
just teasing
in passing
yet leaving
me pierced by thorns
and stained with the petals
of rose-dark blood.

8th November – imagining the empty gallery spaces of Salisbury Arts Centre.

I am eagerly anticipating; wondering if and how the installation of The View from Here is progressing.

Red leaks down the white walls.
Religion stains the waiting canvass;
dapples the past into present colour;
smudges the edges of symbolic shapes
and slides down onto the grey floor.
Sunlight creates fleeting links
in this waiting space. Undressed,
expectant and forever
retrospective.
And in the dark
surprise grotesques, with hindsight, 
await the next exhibition;
watch over empty space,
anticipate the
invisible morning
when something fresh will strut its stuff,
dress the walls, possess the place.

The grey floor counts new feet
as new works arrive to stake their claim.
New clothes, but will they contrive
to incorporate or dominate
and will they feed the seekers of truth?

9/11/2011. The morning before the Preview evening.

I decided to make something visual to draw attention to the words when I am not Sitting in Residence, so I have also been busy creating letters.

Like the journey into friendship
my journey with The View from Here
begins on a superficial level.
I’ve checked-out my co-participants,
taking out words and ideas
rather like packing a suitcase
or taking a reassuring look
at a map. Its somewhere to begin.
The View from Me: a reference point
in case I get lost.
Last minute anxieties kick in:
am I ready? Ready to travel
through the eyes of strangers;
ready to immerse myself in
other people’s journeys?
I take
a deep breath
and plunge in.

9/11/2011. The afternoon before the preview evening.

Excitement and lingering last minute nerves close around me. “The Words” made out of sticks and stones are now ready to travel.

I arrive with words made of sticks and stones
and if words could curl up and hide, these would.
Rough, silent intruders on elegance
they never-the-less do come out to play.
And are transformed by association.

Sat low on a table, the words are
an open invitation to linger,
to touch and reflect, to make temporary
halt on the highway to purpose. THE
WORDS are a welcome into the spotlight;
a reason to try the comfy chair.
THE WORDS offer another access and
permission to play the “talk to me” game.

9/11/2011. 18.00 - 20.00. The Preview.

Salisbury Arts Centre has various possibilities to exhibit art. I have chosen to position Sitting in Residence in the corridor-like walk through Gallery Space which runs alongside the Main Space performance area and leads to the Café Gallery with the Altar Stage and of course the Café where I plan to be holding many conversations.

“In Residence” is buzzing.
The elegant chair an easy
invite to chat. The preview guests
with their generous gifts of words
fill its space and overflow
into the exhibition arena.

My own initial Wow
finds echo that ripples
pleasingly; until crashed
to a vehement halt.
Harsh rejection
morphs the pleasing elegance
to a confusion of crowded
data: too small: too close;
too cruel. And ghosts emerge;
Time-lines fold back.
Other wheelchairs;
other pain gets pulled
into the spotlight.
Other journeys begin.

 

“looks like you are expecting children”
Hindsight will transform this tentative
question to a knowing smile.
But hindsight will carry the burden
of disability. The unthinkable
prospect of life in a wheelchair
and pictures hung strangely low on the wall.


The images live unframed.
Nothing between us
but mother, uncle
the girl next door;
someone else.
Always someone else.
Someone else in the wheelchair.


Me, me, me. I want
to try the chair.
Cast caution to the wind.
Discover the easy roll
makes your arms ache
your hands sore and
demands a whole
new outlook.

10/11/2011. 12.30 - 15.30. My first day Sitting in Residence.

I start the day with admin.
yesterday’s words, and watching.
There are no invitees. The special
guests are people passing
through, passing time.

Hunched on the floor the man
engrossed in Martin Bruch’s
Handbikemovie, uncurls
emerges to declare:
“Powerful. I step off
The Park and Ride and get
a grand tour of Europe.”

Juan delGado’s Reve
de Newton happens
unobserved behind
business that could be
anywhere. But here is nice.
The man who came for tickets
sits with his back to the screen
his front safe behind today’s news
and a leave me alone aura.
The man with his own disability
is too burdened by it to relate
to another; but we all share
the same warm space.



I’d love to talk,
but I haven’t have time
to create an informed opinion.

I only came to get out of the house.
I never notice the art.

It could be faked
just about
anyone
could make
pictures like that.

Some countries react
badly to disability.
People back away.
England is good.

I’d like to come back when I have more time
I’m quite happy to look at the art.

I come every Friday.
Ask me again next week

 

 ...pause for lunch and a personal moment:



Steer clear of people
with disabilities, he said
it’s bad for mental,
emotional welfare.
“But Doc, I am one”
Don’t let that beat you,
you’re far too attractive
to be disabled.

The memories flood back as I chat
with people who look puzzled at The View
from Here: It’s beautiful.
The first impression is…
Powerful. There is simplicity
and elegance, but

But the pictures - what’s
that all about? I don’t
need to know. What a
strange thing to do. Its
private. I don’t need to know.
The screens, I like the screens.
Very attractive. Creative.
They draw you in.

But the pictures. No.
Too small, too many.
No. Not that.
I don’t need to know.

11/11/2011. 11.00 - 16.00. Friday people.

Striking. Noticed it at once.
Had to bend down; its child height.
Then I saw the wheelchair and
had the revelation: a disabled artist.
Fascinating really
good pictures. I’ve got
children myself and
don’t actually have time
to stop and look.

 

I came for the crochet;
my first time,
absolutely loved it.
I’m a regular now,
for coffee and food.
But the décor
is very stark.
Exhibition?
Is there one now?
I need glasses you know.

 

The children love it.
Shame the toy box
is in the wrong place


I never look at the art.
Couldn’t care less
what’s on the walls.


I’ve been coming here
twenty years and more.
Bring my friends; love it.

Its here.
Its handy,
So what.

Never notice the art.
The knitting was brilliant.

I’m a seldom visitor
I come for jazz.


I come for coffee
and food.
Is it good?
I guess so.


It’s something to do in the day,
I can’t get out at night.


It’s beautiful on the surface
but, excuse my language,
ugly underneath.
Confusing.
I can’t see the point.

 

Disability’s such an
obvious thing. I mean
you can’t miss it.
But here… you have to have
good eyesight.
It doesn’t show.

 

It looks stark and clean.
Not like disability.
It fits in very well
here. But you can’t get
close to it. It lacks
emotion, or colour.
It has distance.

 

He’s not English is he.
It’s a bit clinical.
We’re a lot better with
disability in this country.
You can see it in the film.

It’s a contradiction.
Big body of work, large volume,
saying nothing much very quietly.
And with a kind of beauty, but
so absolutely alienating. I
don’t think I like it.

Its not art is it.
What’s it all about?
How do I approach it?
Where do I start?
I know of a chap
with a disability, he
has such a wonderful
sense of humour.

 

Thank you. Thank you so much.
I hardly dare look at the art.

 


You should be permanent,
we don’t understand art.


Thank you for showing me.
I’d never have noticed.
I feel so exposed
on my own.

Do you do lots of exhibitions?
You’re such a good idea.


Will you be here again?
Art makes me feel so
inadequate.


Thank you.
That was so helpful.
I do notice the art,
but don’t like to look
on my own.
 


Thank you for talking to me
I usually read the paper
not to feel vulnerable.


It is very confusing
All one exhibition?
I’d like
a bigger room.


Such strange small
pictures.
Too many, like
too many people.
I don’t understand it.
I’m not an artist it
doesn’t make sense. I
can’t stay, can’t
stand too many
people. Too much.
too many. Can’t think
why.
I wouldn’t
want
people to
know if I
was
disabled.

13, 14/11/2011, Sunday and Monday at home.

In the weekend break I’m working hard at not jumping to conclusions based on the conversations so far.

Here in the weekend I pause to take stock.
A sense of disappointment about the
apparent invisibility of
The View is greatly mitigated
by the generous sharing of other
Views. Other points of view; other points to
view. Forgotten words surface through
the stillness. Missed out phrases
wake me in the early hours demanding
documentation; Sitting in
Residence proves every bit as
demanding as any installation
or work of visual art.

 

Art?

You can call anything art.
It doesn’t move me.
Not like music.
It doesn’t say
what I’m about;
there’s no emotion
and you need
a degree to
understand it.

15/11/2011. 11.00 - 15.00. Tuesday.

I like seeing life from someone else’s
point of view. I shall come back, to have
a really good look at this exhibition.

There is something pleasing
about the way
this documentation
is laid out.
How many photographs are there?
There needs to be some statistics.


Lomography? What a strange idea.
Who on earth would want to do that?


I work next door
and was unaware
there was so much here.
I shall
be back.

I love the idea of photographs
without all the modern technology.
I have a pinhole camera.
Wooden and brass;
it emerges proudly
from her handbag.


We’re local, but
never been here before.
We never realised it was like this
inside.
We thought it was a church,
with a sort of community room for
the arts.


I was exhausted before I came out.
Here is somewhere to recharge my batteries.

We must come back.
We go
all over the place
for the arts
and never knew
this was
on our doorstep.

This place is wonderful
They should put more ancient
buildings to work like this.

I love poetry! Where
do I respond
to your words?


I felt so self-conscious
in the wheelchair,
but my eyes saw things
differently. My brain
unpacked the info with
the prospect of a
different agenda

 

Artist and curator
creator of paper
sculptures, come to
check out
the space.
The later
photographer
admires the
lomographic
moment.
Don’t Think,
Shoot.


I’m cheating you see:
vicarious creativity.
I’m just too busy
but one day it’ll be me
doing a workshop

17/11/2011. 12.30 - 14.00. Thursday, and again later in the evening.

There is an evening performance in the Main Space, so I return to discover if the audience engages with The View.

This is an exhibition of two halves:
in the door, in your face.
but, like, a foreign language.
And in the café
in the distance.
Like, withdrawn.
You know?

 

I blame the artists.
They dump work and leave.
Musicians can’t do that.

 

He would never come.
His routine…
He’s used up
in his own
private war
on disability.

 

 

Knew someone who used to work here.
Used to be a volunteer, ages ago.
I work in the arts.
Deryck invited us.

 

 

Anticipation
dies; killed by sorry
we’re closed

 

An evening performance, in the Main Space:

Ice by Ace Dance and Music,

where conversations with visitors unaware of The View from Here

feed the idea of Con.text as a title for this work:

 

 

 

 

We come to support our daughter,
sister, friend, niece;
gran, granddad, neighbour
father, mother, uncle;
buzz, drink, buzz.
All for the dance.

 

Great venue;
I’m local
and never been here before.
I might come back to look
at the photos.

 


At one with the white wall
and eloquent in their
silence; Martin’s pictures
offer in sign language
to an audience focused
elsewhere
on the other side of
the wall, dancers offer
their own silent perspective,
warping and bending time
with a pause, then exploding
in movement.
The chronological
capture freeze-frames a life.
Ice dances questions of time:
eternity versus humanity;
the concept at war
with pain

 

The choreography
underestimated;
noise intervenes and the
questions disperse in the
wrong kind of tension.
While Martin’s pictures linger
with effortless whispers,
eternity struggles
and the dance, disabled
by its background sound,
disappears
without trace.


I feel sick. My face hurts
My head aches
The audience disappears,
while I seek out
the composer of
pain.

18/11/2011. 19.15 – Friday night folk with Jane Taylor and Karine Polwart.

The View and I
gathered in without
fear or fuss;
the discovery
of disability
gently embraced
by night-mellow
humours enfolding
hearts and minds
arriving, released
from the daytime maze.
Here in the melody
there in the harmony,
sounds reflected
by dancing fingers
caught up in words
that root folk deep
in the song of being.


I see you;
the self, the life,
the art you offer
enhancing
quantum
humanity.

 

 


Rose-red
on the glittering water
Night has fallen and folded us in.
The rambling day-time stone
has somehow neatened its footprint
stretching purple-washed glory
onwards and upwards
to tangle with stars.
Cradled within
the air whispers and soars
full of words that nudge and pull
on the myriad journeys
of souls on board; lofted
to nooks and crannies
memories caught
in rainbow snatches
of lapping time, ebb and flow
while eyes wide
to the present moment
and bodies gently swayed
by the breath,
lift voices
to greet
the singer
and the song inviting us home.

19/11/2011. 10.00 - 16.00. Saturday hosts the Craft Fair; feeds and entertains.

Does art that no-one sees have
anything to be heard?
Can it have the impact of a tree
falling in the forest?
Is it dead
or alive in
the box?
If
no-one sees it
is it
art?
Where
does the concept of art
reside?
When no-one can see
does the artist
exist?
Without hats
this might not
exist.
But I would like to share green words
philoprogenitive is a word
not often recycled and
the process of procreation
has a lomographic
effect
on my
focal length;
whose art is this?
You tell me there are words,
but I only have your word and your word
is art to me. Stolen? Recycled words;
backdrop to a concept
visible only in silhouette;
rich in the air
with electric
potential.
Emotional, physical,
psychological, intellectual
gates to pathways
of thought and instinct.
To the irrational;
to the contrived; conversation
the cause and effect of words.
I offer this conversation.
Exhibit 1. The art
of exchanging words.
There is no subject
and nothing to say
but listen; the offer
engages
the artist,
is you.
Creator.


A subconscious process
of genetic analysis,
the catalyst that
recognises,
releases your words;
the DNA of your thinking
lights up The View with
the unique moment
of your engagement.

 

People do say
say overlapping things

t         o        p
h        v        e
o        e        o
u        r        p
g         l         l
h        a        e
t        p         
s       p         
         i        t
         n       h
         g        i
                  n
                  g
                  s


things I’ve not heard
heard only in passing
passing words they like
like a party game
game people.

20/11/2011. Weekend (Sunday) and the myth of free time.

Art is a night-time bloom
where people with tickets
seem less at the mercy of demons.
Evening and weekend people, clothed in
self-selected agendas, appear less
concerned to protect
their personal spaces.
Access is a two way deal
and more weektime people
appear to
close the windows and doors
of their lives
without wonder.
The artist who never repeats an invitation
has nothing and no-way to speak or say:
no kiss of life, no silver dagger.
Social expectations
pressures of obligation
vampires of the nine-to-five feed
the monster of alienation.
And in the dark
austerity, like sleepdust,
hovers over unwary souls,
eager to close humanity’s eyes.

21/11/2011. Weekend, Monday at home.

Pondering weekday conversations where The View has been incidental, led my thoughts to some weekend conclusions rather more instrumental.

Money, the hidden access issue that
eats away at us all;
devouring the night,
swallowing art at its party:
the wake that will follow extinction,
is a concept abused.
Music will be our last defence.
the final remnant
to waken the dead
with fuel for a resurrection.

 

An edifice of ever open windows
and doors, music is the major point
of access for the young,
the busy and the wild.
A cross-pollinating agent
that brings life to cultures and diverse expressions
of being human; music is the work-horse
of the arts. Pit-pony, Arab and donkey; music
is also the war-horse
battling through austerity mud.
Music adapts
and even
gets ahead of the game.
Without it words
have other meanings.

22/11/2011. 11.00 - 15.00 and an unusually quiet Tuesday.

We’re here for a, sorry, birthday
coffee and conversation, we, no…put that back,
like the relaxed space. Plenty of, oops, excuse me,
room, and no, yes I’m listening, rush.
We can, oh I know, all fit in.
And cake shared with sticky fingers
disappears under the four humours
who peer with self-satisfied smiles
unnoticed as small children are
wrapped up and wheeled away.


I want art to grab me.
I want cheeky and fun;
I want it loud. I’d love
an all-embracing, whole
building, in my face
experience. And I want
to relate to it
with other people.
I’m a people person.
I’d love to be really overwhelmed,
I’m not looking for elegance
or finesse. I want it to compete
with the pseudo-celebrities
who clutter my home.
I want art to
grab me.


I do come for coffee and I would notice
the art.
But right now there’s nothing here.
Screens?
Yeh well, I work all day with screens
and the TV is on when I get home.
I don’t want screens;
screens clutter everywhere
with advertising and I
ignore them;
like y’do.


Every now and then
comes someone with the gift
of silence; content to
be submersed in life.
Senses alert, but unfocused,
waiting on the conversation.
Lingering in the silence until
the moment to withdraw from The
View, then surprising with “thank you”s
and generous words of appreciation:

Colours and shapes outline this exhibition.
Your presence defines it; it needs you and should go
no-where without you.
Conversations
complete it.


Yes we saw the screens
and for sure we did guess
that you’re sponsored by a bike shop,
but the advertising did
detract, de-de-detract
from the music.


We’re huge.
We’re busy.
We’re important.
And we’re happy to sit,
backs to The Dream,
minds closed
eyes shut.
Full
of self-important
satisfaction.
With just a hint
of condescending
apologetic
depreciation.


I want my screens interactive.
I like touch;
or stuff that
expands on mouseover,
gives me real options.
 


There is less music: cisum ssel si ereht
we live here: ereh evil ew
and we hear: raeh ew dna
the silence

The new man
is a dance man,
a theatre man;
there is
less sound man.


More accessible
than words.
More knowable than
pictures.
Music rewards with
and without
a degree
of understanding.


Visual art?
I guess I come with preconceptions
it’s actually quite easy
now you’ve explained it
and a lot more fascinating.

23/11/2011. The bar is open from 19.00 for Wednesday's annual Fundraising Quiz.

Tension, focus and preparation:
this day last week, last year and further;
and how’s your general knowledge?
Friends
meet and greet, warm
curry aromas waft around
filling tables. This is a night
for the narrow focus: the art
of the quiz being all embracing:
and how are you on butterflies?
Let’s eat: red or white?
Did you two meet
last year?

24/11/2011. 12.30 -15.30. Thursday.

Here is the journey
destined to be
untold.
High shoulders
curl arms into
secrets that
guard and protect;
wardens who render
The Dream
unseen.


A palpable sense of relief
accompanies the revelation
that this is not about
discarded images;
pictures that mar
the perfect capture. These
are not rejects masquerading
as art. This is life. The struggle
to accept is overcome
by interest, by
acknowledgement.
By empathy.

 

How do I relate?
Well, I’m not an artist, but
I can sort of make things
and take photographs.
I can’t write music
but I can use my hands.
It’s not art, but
it’s satisfying.


Its about life isn’t it.
We can all relate to that.
Is this what you see
from your wheelchair?


She’s telling me
and I don’t see.
He’s showing me,
but I don’t hear.
Journeys that take
me by surprise:
body language
that speaks with
guarded limbs;
memories that
tumble the past
into the present:
determination
that
enables other
conversations.
Just
some of the journeys
I see from The View
and do not have
time to explore.

This is very accessible.
I can take photographs,
just holiday snaps and I write
bits of poetry. Pictures and words
I can sort of do. These are like
holiday snaps, but much more
important.

25/11/2011. 11.00 - 14.00. Friday.

Words travel
over boundaries,
link minds
and open doors.
Words reveal this space;
it has soul.
A happy place.
Words are fun
to play with and
your choice reveals
so much. Words
make us
as we
make them.
Words gather
here in the warm
warming friendships.

 

This art,
these windows,
speak.
The Greater Glory of God
echoes in the walls.
This is God’s house
and never
surplus to requirement.

26, 27, 28/11/2011. Weekend at home with my thoughts.

The words on the pillars
have lost their way;
orphans; birds fallen
out of the nest. A
fractured concept
reassembled.
By strangers?

A       K       H
L       I        O
L       N       R
T       G       S
H       S       E
E        .        S

 

Keen to go the extra mile;
seen as helpful and
easy to talk to; the lovely
ladies who serve in the café:
food,
what better way
to de-bunk the myth
and demystify
the whole
inaccessible
image of art.


 

Points of View
through strangers’ eyes,
and here I am
in the middle.

Beginning with my View,
I tried to mark the map;
to become familiar
without obscuring
future possibilities.
And as the days went by I
learnt first how to look,
then began to see and know
a View where my eyes were
always in the picture;

know my journey was
never far from
the stranger, the
alien and
the unknown.

29/11/2011. 11.00 - 14.00. Tuesday.

Chatting in
chatting out,
not unaware
of background.
Looking forward
to coffee,
coming back
to rain.
Coats shed
and gathered;
an hour
enjoyed.


Dark, wet day,
heavy skies;
wrapped up people.
Warm drinks,
hot soup,
potato wedges
and ballerina
umbrellas, sunk in
graceful curtseys
to the floor.

Lived here fifteen years and never
seen inside before.
It’s amazing.


I work next door,
come for coffee.
I never come for the art, but
I really like that it happens around me.
It’s different.


I come with my caseworker.
We come for the space;
but it’s gorgeous;
beautiful building,
wonderful art.
W
O
W


Having a lunch meeting, we work next door.
We do notice the artwork changes frequently;
and love the atmosphere.
This one has such a lot of detail and does
require more time. It’s certainly not
a walk-through.
No, I don’t think those arty benches
would work in this space.
It needs
something
less
formal.

1/12/2011. Film evening – from 18.45.

The film audience gathers in good time;
the lady for whom there was no room last month,
comes early, with friends.
Main Space overflows
with social conscience:

petitions are signed; photos
examined, their context lost;
drinks consumed and
conversations build as the
evening takes hold.
Getting here
made tensions that telling
releases. And words shared
reveal the unique, the
separate exhibition;
give Martin’s images
renewed purpose
for the people making a point of
having time for
The View from Here.

I’ve lived practically next door
forever. And never
thought about
coming in.


This is a film I should see.
Here is a place I should come.
My life should be full;
should be
should-rich
should be.
Should, but
Ok I do
truly want
to be here.

This is a church.
Do you mind?
od elpoeP
I’m ok with it;
churches need
to be used.
God
doesn’t need
churches;
people do.

P     L     P
E     E     E
O     D     O
P     O     P

 

If you take out the stained glass
here would look less religious,
more like an Arts Centre.

I might concede, it’s a craft;
art even; though I’d
never think of it
like that.
Maybe
the windows
do
belong here.

 

Inaccuracies niggle.
I’ve a spelling
bee in my bonnet.
And the plot
deviates from
the speaker’s truth.
I feel that sense
of manipulation.
Flawed systems;
flawed people,
but I do like
your exhibition.

3/12/2011. 14.00 - 15.00. Saturday, the United Nations Day of Disabled People.

Artist Discussion with Juan delGado, Aidan Moesby and Gini.

Today we have the artists’ discussion
for a select few, and two
timing their entry for after
the talking is over.
Suddenly I
am the middle-man,
the voice
of Con.text
and here is the
opportunity
to mobilise; to
give tongue to sounds
that had been
confined
to paper.


A chance to meet
Aidan and Juan
yet here, before
the audience,
the words
lack
sounds, create no
lasting
dialogue.

4/12/2011. From 12.00. Sunday is Big Band Brunch.

We come to every single one;
never miss a Big band Brunch.
And knees dance, heels hop as the audience,
active in chairs, have hands busy with food.
The Band delights and friends gather.
Eyes twinkle as choice oldies
mellow their way from horns,
trumpets and clarinets.
Burgers float
from kitchen to diners
lofted high
by spoon-seeking waiters,
smiling as Birds Fly
Over the Rainbow.


We used to come here
with the children.
Now we’re back;
for the Jazz.


Solo, with phone,
and unfolding newsprint.
Present yet absent;
Supporting, attentive,
yet only here for love
of his wife in the Band.


Grey curls and liver spots;
bodies compacting with years,
take none of the fun out of
listening to jazz, loving
the swing and familiar ring
of memories shared with
lovers and friends; of
familiar words and mellow notes
forever kind on the ears.

I did write to the DJ;
the one on the radio.
He announces the
Big Band Brunches and
I want the world to know.

I wish more people our age
would give this a go. Its good,
we love it.
Twenty-odd miles to get here
and worth it.
Its not just for older people,
It’s a lovely way to
do a Sunday.

6/12/2011. 11.00 - 14.00. Tuesday.

Heavy weather.
Rolling in I meet
the pro-life,
lovely lady
activist.

And then:
in this digital age
it’s easy
to get rid of them.
You don’t need
to print out
pictures like this:

I arrive to find
puzzled people.
The explanation
changes everything
yet still fails.
Fails to engage
determined people.

 


They study the list of Patron’s,
breeze past the artwork with
a brief: “Not to our taste.”


In town and seeking to put Salisbury Arts Centre into context:


Arts Centre?
Oh no dear!
Not my…
I don’t…


You don’t mean the theatre?
What does it look like?


Converted Church?
In Salisbury?
Don’t think so…


In the Greencroft,
somewhere.


Over the junction,
second right,
‘bout two thirds
of the way up.


Past the bus station:
Bedwin Street,
you can’t miss it.

7/12/11. 11.00 - 14.00. Wednesday.

We need to realise our own creativity;
so many creative people;
so much talent.

I want to
comment on the exhibition,
I will but,
later.
I’m so busy,
there’s no time, I only
work here.

I’m just buzzing with ideas;
can’t wait to express them.
Things happen elsewhere,
but the buzz is here.

 

Lunch – love the space
and the artworks. I would
do the films, but
feel really unwell
high up.

Don’t do the raked seating,
it’s not comfy

13/12/2011. 11.00 – 14.00. Tuesday.

Christmas
reaches out;
glitter and pine greet me;
white Christmas haunts the stereo.
Cold wind whistles its way past the box office.
I don’t hang up my coat, I don’t linger, I roll right ahead;
drawn by the magnet
of Coffee
And
Tiffin.

 

 

Stroppy and rowdy,
client and caseworker
battle words with
no peace.
Not good
for my
state of mind.
Amnesty volunteers
are busy writing
for world justice;
while I nurse
the pain
of
disadvantaged people
closer to home.
 


People come and go,
remembering conversations,
happy to check out the progress
of Con.text;
keen to know if I remember.
Things are coming
full circle.

 

Main Space waits womblike
silently                           black;
the exhibition, divorced
from its hungry drapes,
suspended,             yet ready
to challenge, to intrigue.
Waves      of       chairs
show orange welcome
way ahead
of the game;
patterns  of  self-sufficiency
feed Main Space,
waiting          waiting
on
silent strangers.

14/12/11. 12.00 - 14.00. Wednesday.

White sails confuse
naked branches.
Needle-less trees dangle rootless.
Christmas space seeks its history.
Stones remember midnight voices;
people.
Art space holds its breath,
winding down,
soon to be
empty.
Are you ready?


I forgot my brolly,
Rain took me by surprise
and I arrived cold and wet
to be greeted by friends,
to be welcomed
by strangers eager to talk,
as the lunch crowd arrived
shaking the premature slumber.


Exhibition?
Like the screens;
love the words;
profound.

 

Meeting Dad for lunch;
I do come for dance.
My kids dance.
There’s no time for
going out.
I’m worn out
by their bed-time.
Later, when they’re grown,
I might, like dad, come back
for jazz.


We come every Christmas
to greet old friends.
This is half-way
and we like it here.


Our friends are late,
so right away, we’ll look,
we’ll seek; we’re on
a mission, lunch can wait.


I’ve found the words.
Yes; they make me think.
Its good, but better
if they were more
visible

17/12/2011. Saturday – after driving to Heathrow with Christmas in mind.

In a strange way, The View
has started to fade.
No matter how many
times I focus my mind,
the season intervenes.
“Are you ready?” echoes
in the bare pines. “Have you
finished shopping?” ask the
laden visitors.
Charity stakes its claim:
this is the season of giving.
Goodwill seems to strengthen
pity and The View feels
oddly untenable.
“Are you ready?” ask the
unprepared and the smug
as Christmas points and shoots.
The fixed focus and the
seasonal rainbow lights
serve static images,
their interpretation
open to any, or
none.
Are you ready?
A   Y
R   O
E   U
?

19/12/2011. Monday, suddenly my last available day, but the Arts Centre is closed and I write from home.

Just as Con.text took me by surprise,
grabbed my attention and offered rich
food for thought; I am all at once faced
with the view of an abrupt ending.
Like a Looking Glass, The View from Here
pulled me into an alien space
with strange perspectives from other minds.
I travelled delight and confusion;
well-worn and unfamiliar paths;
I went no-where and yet travelled far.
I’m not ready to leave,
but there’s suddenly no time to go.
Back here, on this side of the mirror,
I carry all the words.
Con.text, both finished and unfinished,
ends and continues in my head and
in my plans for the nearest future.
This time next week Christmas is over
and The View will be gone  forever.
There will be a brief and empty space.
Space of memory: memory of
spaces awaits Deconsecration;
and this Con.text will need some kind of
finishing off; some kind of ending.

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