Six of the Best.
We have commissioned a short film featuring six new poems, written in response to artworks in our sculpture trail. The six talented and renowned poets were invited to Mid Wales Arts Centre to read their poem alongside the artwork from which they took inspiration, these readings are compiled in our new film Six of the Best. The new commissions follow our successful live stream and performance, September Promises.
Mid Wales Arts is home to a collection of sculpture by the likes of enamelist Stefan Knapp and sculptor John Paddison, members of the artists collective Sculpture Cymru and a range of works from across Wales and the world. The commissioned poems help bring our attention to the subtleties of these works of art, while adding new poetic interpretations to their story.
Gareth Writer-Davies, Hawthornden Fellow, Prole Laureate and twice Commended in the Welsh Poetry Competition, is a classroom assistant and keen walker based in Brecon. His Poem GEO-TECHNICS, a meditation on the experience of the sculptor at work, is inspired by the carved stone Vindarama by Nick Lloyd.
Emma Purshouse, Wolverhampton Poet Laureate and member of the acclaimed Poets, Prattlers and Protagonists. Her poem Our Marie at 14, a heartfelt ode to the parents of a teenager, is dedicated to the huge wood and metal figure, Marie the Little Dancer, by Glenn Morris.
Nicky Arscott, Mid Wales based artist, poet, teacher and mother of young children. Her poem, a surreal examination of responsibility in an increasingly fragmented society, draws its inspiration from The Examination in carved portland stone by John Paddison.
Deborah Alma, otherwise known as The Emergency Poet, dispenses poetic prescriptions from The Poetry Pharmacy in Bishop's Castle. Her poem, Venus Goddess Mother, a call to re-evaluate the Willendorf Venus, takes inspiration from Kevin Blockley's own depiction of the Venus, Figurine I.
Ben Gwalchmai, maker, worker, carer, teacher and writer and the co-founder of Labour4indyWales. His jocular, sharp witted poem predicting an ominous future for the Egos who hold power, is inspired by the large bright enamel on steel Needle of Knowledge by Stefan Knapp.
Steve Pottinger, a much-published poet and activist, is another a member of the Poets, Prattlers and Protagonists. His poem, The Statues Story, places him in the shoes of the statue, Mine Memory, by Alison Lochhead, observing the passing of time in the Welsh landscape.
Nick Lloyd, a member of Sculpture Cymru, and based in Mid Wales, is a regular exhibitor at Mid Wales Arts. His work is concerned with the experience of landscape and the notion of a sense of place.
Glenn Morris is a professional sculptor working on the Welsh borders near Hay-on-Wye. He works predominantly in stone using traditional carving techniques employing other mediums when appropriate to the subject matter. He is a member of Sculpture Cymru.
John Paddison (1929 – 2000) was a prolific stone carver, his works include a stone motorcycle, a stone 35mm camera, and a stone traffic-jam in the centre of Wolverhampton. He made a series of stone carvings based on pictorial subjects, notably The Flaying of Marsyus and The Deposition.
Kevin Blockley specialises in Cathedral Archaeology and has worked in Britain’s iconic buildings, his art is shaped by his archaeological background. His new series of plaster figurines, made during lockdown, represent a new direction.
Stefan Knapp (1921 – 1996) was a Polish-born painter and sculptor. He developed and patented a technique of painting with enamel on steel. He is the author of the worlds largest mural, painted on the Alexander's department store building in Paramus, New Jersey.
Alison Lochhead is a sculptor whose work reflects upon the fragmentation of memory and witness of injustices. She works with heat and materials from the earth; iron, clay, rocks, oxides.