Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Poems For Art's Sake

Poems for Art’s Sake

Haiku drifts across the lake, a swan of stars calling you softly
Her gloves are undressed, they lie shimmering naked in this starlight
Shivering, a soul lies awake at night, dreaming of stars

What is art, but a place to make us beckon, soft?
It is unwise, unruly and nothing – incandescent, gleaming aloft.
She is beauty, so much more than the night, drifting midst dreams unstopped

What is art, but a secret left untold: silence playing in the holly bush black
Deep aureoles of peace, swimming, like gladiator lions
kissing on scorched ivy-strewn roofslats?

What is art, but a place left alone, where no-one can touch it:
a hermit crab sniggering, while mermaids fondle in the green sinewy
place that mermaids should never rupture?

Someone has polished their soul into art, and placed it out for you to see
It sits, listens to your questions: ‘is it new enough?’ ‘is it enough?’ ‘is it cutting-edge enough?’ ‘is it enough?’ ‘is it interesting enough?’ ‘is it enough?’ ‘is it daring enough?’

Revolutions can be so quiet, you’d never know they were there.

Making art is like a slow crucifixion – send it up to other people’s eyes,
let their vision define yours as you shape your creativity to
the criteria of some goddammed funding application …

Whatever happened to good old fashioned ‘beauty’?

A fleet of white stags stampeding delicate feet;
an unwise jar under the table stuffed with marmalade.
The hermit crab sniggering, these are all images – all art – feel their grace.

What is art, but insomnia unless expressed?


Conversations. Conversations. 'A Cambridge Art Space (to be continued).'

'Really, it's a need for a space where dialogue with communities' 'but with critically acclaimed art' 'can take place without the pressure to sell art. A place where artists can provoke questions ---' 'and reach out to excluded people ---' 'and doesn't exclude local artists or people, simply having an international dialogue with Amsterdam or New York or London that pushes out local artists who aren't 'names' on that international circuit ---' 'a process which can turn artists into being international commodities, in a way --' '--but is still critically acclaimed on an international level: inclusivity doesn't have to mean a dilution of quality--' 'that isn't clinical, self conscious, and over-intellectualised' '---yet still intellectual --' 'where the pressure to sell art isn't the primary function of the space ---' 'but it's still OK to do that, where artists can be paid ---' 'with classes, a cafe, and ---' 'a space for the 600 or so artists in Cambridge that have barely anywhere to show their work ---' 'for the community, that isn't elitist and breaks down the pretensions of art' 'what about? We could --' 'Or do that --' 'We should be writing this down ---'

Monday, 20 July 2009

A Cambridge Arts Centre

The recent occupation - and rapid eviction of said occupiers - of an old Bingo Hall in Cambridge has caused much debate in the community. Cambridge is one of the world's leading cultural cities, and yet lags behind its contemporaries in terms of cultural resources and amenities. There is no arts centre here. For a city so famous for culture, ideas, and creativity - this seems anomolous, and bizarre.

I've set up a little hub of artists in Cambridge with Positiveworld Studios, and helped my friend Freya Zinovieff set up Cambridge Open Art Space last year after she had the brilliant idea to create a Cambridge Fringe Open Studios that could act as a platform for more edgy art previously excluded from the Cambridge art scene. Time and time again, creatives complain to me of the lack of an arts centre here - yet where there is a need, sure there is a way?

Is it that people want the resources, but don't want to have to create them? Understandable - founding a contemporary arts centre is no mean feat, and must take considerable time and energy.

I've decided to focus some of my writing on this blog to exploring exactly this notion: what it would take to create such a centre in this city, my hometown. I'd welcome ideas, feedback, guest writers, and any support for such a notion. It's only through working together that we can achieve these things.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Changing Spaces

Our first show with Changing Spaces is up! On 82 Regent St, Cambridge, this is the first of four shows in a disused shopfront over the next two months. Showing paintings by Alice Hill, whose gorgeous work is inspired by the female form, the body, and flowers - all with a modern feel. Come and see the art! If you would like to get involved email

Creative Survival

What are the essential ingrediants necessary for creative survival? What are the barriers to creative growth? How can we best support the growth and development of a creative community? At the beginning of 2009, I started research into developing strategies for creative survival. By coaching a range of creatives from different backgrounds, it's been possible to see links between certain disciplines and successful techniques. I'm now writing up my findings as part of my dissertation for my coaching diploma, and can honestly say the whole project has been an exlosive process with some really interesting results!

It's fascinating to look at the common techniques and strategies that really support people in their creative practice. From personal experience, it's amazing what a little bit of simple encouragement can do for the soul. Community, personal support, self-belief and the right environment are all essential to continued creative success and survival. And laughing! Thank you to all the people I've worked with and wishing you luck with your amazing work!