We broke the ice on a January evening recently – at the Poetry Cafe to launch the Of Water exhibition by Canal Laureate Nancy Campbell and her fellow poet artist, Robert Powell
Against a backdrop of their joint exhibition Nancy and Robert read from their poems and discussed their work.
Robert’s project A Small Box of River (on display in The Poetry Cafe till 1 February 2019 ) is a collaborative work with artist Jake Attree, inspired by walking along the rivers Ouse and Foss in and near York. It combines, drawings and poems, words and images in a way that leaves space for the reader and viewer to dive in and splash about in search of further riverish meaning.
Nancy’s Laureate poems – exhibited under the title Outlook and Inrush – are all tied to specific locations. Works created from Oxford to Nottingham to London to the Severn build to create a map of the country’s canal network.
We also screened a couple of filmpoems. Robert’s film The River Speaks is a short made recently with Ben Pugh; and Source is a collaboration between Robert and artist Jan-Erik Andersson (Finland), produced during the former’s residency at the Saari Residency (Kone Foundation) in the autumn of 2018.
Thanks to all enthusiastic audience members, especially staff from the Canal and River Trust, who made it such a memorable night.