Weekend Showcase : Tracey Jane Cooper (Artist)

10 Oct

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.

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Tracey Jane Cooper

 

Summer Infusion by Tracey Cooper

 Summer Infusion


Biography

Tracey recently began painting again after many years dreaming about it.

I’m inspired by nature, particularly the sky. The sun and it’s warmth or coolness always feature, sometimes you can feel the heat of the sun in them, often the flowers are blistering in the intensity of it and that’s what I like to portray.
 
I paint mainly with acrylic, sometimes with watercolour for more fluidity, depending on the piece.
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https://twitter.com/traceyjanesart

 

 

Realm 1: Asgard – Overview and writing prompts, The Nine Realms, an ArtiPeeps Writing, Art and Music Collaboration 2014-2015

6 Oct

World Tree Norse

The Nine Realms

9 months, 22 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat and a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

Asgard

(the realm of the warrior gods)

 

Vikings Ahoy!

Here we are at the beginning of October and into the first month of ArtiPeeps’ next EPIC collaboration. This month we are outlining the realm of Asgard and the deadline for all writing and poetry and mp3s for this realm is Thursday 6th November 2014. As soon as the poetry is in we will start posting it out on a weekly basis. 

These monthly posts will draw from a range of primary and secondary source materials and focus on selected gods, themes and stories that circle around the highlighted realm. They will not attempt to cover everything, and writers can embrace any other stories and characters within their writing which is not covered. Month by month we will be building our own magical, contemporary norse world whilst exploring the themes of POWER, NATURE and RELIGION.  The project’s overall intention is to embrace orality, translation, storytelling and rhythm all of which are inspired by the origins of the oral tradition of the Norse Sagas.

I may well put out little mini-posts intermittently focusing on orality and poetic form as necessary.  

What is presented below is designed to inspire, present basic information and offer a starting point for individual creativity within the project inspired by the themes, characters and spirit of the myths and stories.

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Asgard

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A brief  Overview of the Viking Cosmos:

 When Ymir lived long ago
Was no sand, no surging waves.
Nowhere was there earth nor heaven above.
Bur a grinning gap and grass nowhere

Voluspa-The Song of the Sybil

So the story goes,  Odin, King of Asgard set out with his two brothers to kill Ymir (a primeval frost giant made of clay). From Ymir’s body they formed the world. His blood became rivers, his flesh land, his bones mountains and his skull the sea. Four dwarves were sent to the four corners of the firmament, and the sun and moon in chariots were sent out to follow each other across the sky. 

Having made the world Odin seeks to fill it with beings. First came the dwarves, and then came people- formed out of flotsom from the seashore and he gave them a home-in centre Midgard. After human kind was taken care of they created Asgard, a place filled with huge halls and palaces. 

Asgard, reached only by crossing a bridge guarded by Heimdall, the divine watchman, is the realm of the warrior gods, known as the Aesir. The pillar of wisdom, which all norse mythology pivots around, runs through the middle of Asgard. It is the centre of Wisdom.

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Odin_with_Gunnlöd_by_Johannes_Gehrts

Odin

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The Aesir 

The Aesir gods are one of two divine families (alongside the Vanir) who live in Asgard.

Odin is the head of the Aesir- the All-Father (Ellis-Davidson: 29):

‘Then third said, ‘Odin is the highest and oldest of the gods. He rules in all matters, and, although the other gods are powerful, alll serve him as children do their father….He is also called Father of the Slain [Val Father] because all who fall in battle are his adopted sons’ (Sturlson: 30, The Prose Edda, 20. Odin the All-Father)

Odin journeyed all over the world with two carrier ravens as companions called Huginn and Munnin (Thought and Reason). He also possessed a magical spear which guaranteed death.

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Odin_hrafnar

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Odin, roaming outside of Asgard, would often wander around Midgard dressed in a disguise as a tall grey-bearded man in a long cloak and hat. Odin was feared and respected, and would go to any length to acquire knowledge and sate his curiosity.  His quest for wisdom knew no bounds and in a story within Hávamál  in the Poetic Eddha he endured not only 9 days hanging from the Yggsdrasil (the tree of wisdom) but the piercing of his own eye with a spear all to gain the knowledge of the runes..

I wot that I hung….‘on the wind-tossed tree
………….all of nights nine,
wounded by spear,……bespoken to Othin
…………..bespoken myself to myself
[upon that tree.....of which none tellet
................from what roots it doth rise]

(Hollander: 36, tr. The Poetic Edda, Hávamál , The Sayings of Har/The Sayings of the High One)

The meaning of the story above seems to revolve around the notion of sacrifice: despite many lures being offered to him he nevertheless continued to sacrifice himself. Odin was thought, symbollically to bring success.

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Frigg

Frigg

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Frigg:

 Frigg is queen of Asgard and married to Odin. She is goddess of marriage and motherhood and has great powers of magic; she can foretell the future of gods and man. In many early religions, states Davidson,  mother earth often ‘appears as the wife of the supreme sun god’ (110). However, clear proof of the worship of the Earth Mother in Scandinavia is hard to find. The only truly maternal figure in Asgard, depicted in the Prose Edda, is that of Frigg.

In the Poetic Edda poem, Oddrúnargrátr (Odin’s Lament) she is sited as the goddess to be invoked during childbirth, and similarly  in the Völsunga as connected to motherhood as she asks Odin to grant permission for a couple to have children (Ellis Davidson ((131-132). In North-Western Europe the figure of Frigg has had a huge influence  with certain groups throughout the centuries and ‘their ability to determine the destiny of the{ir} new-born child[ren]‘ (132) . 

May hallowed wightsbring help to thee,
Frigg and Freya……and favouring gods,
as oft thou warded…..evil from me
(and hastened hitherhelp to bring me)

(Hollander: 280, The Poetic Edda, Oddrúnargrátr )

Frigg figures consistently in the poetry of the Poetic Edda.  Her role as queen cannot be underestimated but she is often overpowered in the Eddas by the depiction of Freya (from the Vanir gods).

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Thor

Thor

.Thor:

 Thor is the son of  Odin and Jord (Earth), Living in a huge mansion with his wife Sif  Thor, the thunder god, possessed three great treasures: the hammer Mjollnir which could destroy giants and shatter rocks, a belt of power which gave him strength,  and iron gloves to allow him to grip his hammer.

Thor is the enemy of giants. There is the story of how he killed the mighty giant Geirröd by hurling back  a mighty lump of melting iron at the giant. 

You can find the Lay of Thor/Thorsdrapa here: http://www.stavacademy.co.uk/mimir/thorsdrapa.htm

Despite his antagonism towards giants he nevertheless had two children  by the giantess Jarnsaxa. Járnsaxa is also the name of one of the Nine Mothers of Heimdallr. who were nine sisters who gave birth to the god Heimdallr who possesses the resounding horn Gjallarhorn. The poem The Lay of Hyndla within The Poetic Edda contains the story of Heimdallr. Called The Song of Hyndla, in the Caolyne Larrington translation of The Poetic Edda. 

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Freya awakes Hyndla

Freya awakes Hyndla

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Thor was associated with the elements. He champions the Aesir and defends Asgard The cult surrounding him has had a long history in western europe. He kills with direction (unlike Odin and Loki). He kills with bolders and force. He is the god that travellers call to before setting out on journeys. Thor, it is said, can be trusted as:

‘Thor had done many great works, and had split rocks and shattered cliffs, while Odin gave men victory’ (Tryggvason, Olaf’s Saga cited in Ellis Davidson: 74).

Thor was the most popular god with 25% of the population in Iceland having his name as part their name. Iceland’s annual assembly opens on Thursday, his day.  Thor is a god who although reigned omnipotently is associated with equality across all walks of life from craftsperson to aristocrat. (Allan: 51).

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Thor's Hammer

Thor’s Hammer

 

.Loki:

Was the child of giants and lived in Asgard, and is known for his mischievousness and trickery. He gained entry into Asgard by befriending Odin. Odin and Loki were blood brothers. Snori Sturlson (the writer of the Prose Edda) calls Loki ‘the slander bearer of the Aesir, the promoter of deceipt’ (Allan: 54) .  He ‘ was the cause of many things’ (Strurluson: 69). Loki was also known for his ability to change shape and sex.

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Loki 2

 

The stories around Loki usually consist of him getting some sort of punishment. For instance, nearly having his lips sewn up as punishment for a lost bet. It is a fitting comeuppance for a smooth talker (54). However, he has also saved Asgard- when a giant demanded that he should have the sun, the moon and Freya in payment for building a wall around Asgard (54).  He saved the day by confusing the giant by turning himself into a stallion to distract the mare of the ogre. Loki has two sides. 

From the pairing of Loki and the mare came Sleipnir,  an 8-legged horse. Loki’s children all had dark undertones. This showed in his other child with giantess Angrboða with whom he begat Hel, Queen of the Dead.  Loki also played a key role in Ragnorak (the doom of the gods).

An excerpt from the Edda poem  Völuspá (which contains the story of Ragnorak) can be found here. See video of a reading of the poem below. 

 

Themes and Relevance, Questions:

Power and its consequences. The questioning of leadership: Asgard is the seat of power, leadership, craft and justice. The qualites of its primary gods and godesses speak to that. The strength of Odin and Thor through to shapeshifter Loki represent a spectrum of qualities both good and bad, both mutable and fixed. It is interesting to think about the dynamics of force and freedom in relation to this.

The questioning of Knowledge/ Wisdom: Asgard has the root of Wisdom from the Yggsdaril tree running right through its centre, signalling its status as the focus of Wisdom. But often the actual behaviour of the gods does not seem to reflect this. What does this say about knowledge? 

The Force of Creation and Mutability: Frigg, one of the few female godesses in Asgard seems to symbollically be there to juxtapose against the male gods’ acts of power. As a symbol of fertility and growth, she represents the other side of the coin. Different forces of creation and destruction rest side by side in Asgard. Loki also represents this through his shapeshifting.

 

Things of Interest:

On the Poetic Form of Norse Sagas: Alliteration, Kenning

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Norse_poetry

http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/meters.shtml

BBC The Viking Sagas

British Museum:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/cultures/europe/vikings.aspx

BBC Schools Radio, Thor and the Giants

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schoolradio/subjects/english/viking_sagas/episodes/part_4

Voluspa Part 1/2:

Voluspa Part 2/2:

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Optional Poetry and Writing Prompts:

If you wish you can use the following poetic form for your poem:

The Brisbane Sonnet:  consists of two sestets and a couplet. The original sestet was based on the Hymnal Octave form which has a rhyme scheme of a.b.c.b.a.b.c.b. Two of the b lines are removed and leave a rhyme scheme of a.b.c.a.b.c. by adding another similar sestet d.e.f.d.e.f. and a couplet, g.g., this sonnet form was born.

For more information see: http://goo.gl/9dLg2l

Writing Word Prompts:  Shapeshifter, Twisting, Birth, Flotsom, Smashing, Discipline, Endearment, Quest

To confirm, the deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for the Asgard realm is Thursday 6th November.

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 Thanks so much for your interest.

References

 Allan, T (202) Vikings, The Battle at the End of Time, London: Watkins Publishing

Ellis Davidson, H.R. (1990) Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Books

Hollander, L.M. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Austin: University of Texas Press

Larrington, C. (1996) tr. The Poetic Edda, Oxford University Press

Sturlson, S. (2005) The Prose Edda, Penguin Classics, tr. Jesse L. Byock

 

 

My Misbehaving Poetry by Daniella Sciuto & J. Matthew Waters (FreeSpace #3)

2 Oct

Welcome to the final FreeSpace from poets Daniella Sciuto and J Matthew Waters. ‘My Misbehaving Poetry’ is the third of three collaborative pieces that Daniella and John have created together.

 

paper-screwed-up

My Misbehaving Poetry

 

a mess of discarded words
surround the waste paper bin
a screwed up frustrating mishmash
of misbehaving poetry
sent to Coventry
the current state of affairs
keeps missing the mark
ideas bouncing off rims in silence
not even a dead klunk
to rattle my soul
to let me know
if I more accurately honed my aim
matched that rhythm zigzagging
in and out of my own personal alphabet
if I took an occasional Z
rhymed it with W instead
attached it to an A, B or C
would poetry suddenly
work for me

exhausted I pause
stare deep into the double-hung window
a handful of flies
trapped between the panes
gasping for fresh air
crawling and buzzing
schizophrenically searching
for the only way out
watching me in a frenzy
weighing up the worth
over-thinking the import
of a few lonely words
which my pen decides
to frantically override
in indigo ink

the day turns to dust
water turns to wine
turns to blood in a trice
I raise my ancient chalice
toasting and praying
to the poetry gods on high
for an ounce of inspiration
as I drift into stars
the night showers reams
of words falling free
my pen and my paper
and my mind all three
collaborate with the gods
to write dream poetry

in the morning I awake
feel the words as they bleed
dead flies on the sill
empty paper
empty pen
an empty state of mind

 

Poets’ Biographies

 

Daniella Sciuto: I’m a writer from The Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Proud owner of an unused degree in Anthropology. Am owned by many, many books which don’t seem to want to leave once they have been read. My first story to be published was on a pillow. I can be found, together with my ramblings, at bluebellina.wordpress.com and @iwasaplatypus on Twitter.

J Matthew Waters is a poet residing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After earning his liberal arts degree in English from the University of Iowa in 1984, he has since enjoyed a career in the financial services industry.  His first collection of poetry entitled “Five Hundred Pieces” was self-published in 1997. His second collection entitled “In the Middle of Somewhere” was self-published as a Kindle ebook in 2011. His most recent work can be found at his poetry blog jdubqca.com.

You can also follow Johnhttps://twitter.com/jdubqca

 

If you missed out on the other two FreeSpace poems by Daniella and John you can find them here:

Proclamation: http://wp.me/p2tYft-2xy

Rewriting the Universe: http://wp.me/p2tYft-2z9

 

FreeSpace is a creative opportunity that offers 3 posts on ArtiPeeps to an individual or group for showcasing or a project. The slots can be taken in a cluster or spread over a period of months.

The Nine Realms: Our Next Epic Collaboration

1 Oct

Vikings

Vikings Ahoy!

On Monday the 6th October 2014 our next epic large-scale project will be starting with the posting of an overview of the realm Asgard in Norse Mythology. The online part of our collaboration will run for 9 months and is inspired by the 9 realms of the Norse world. Like with Transformations,  The Nine Realms will culminate in a 5 day exhibition in Hanse House, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, UK across the Heritage Open Day weekend.  We’re not only excited to deepen our connection with King’s Lynn, but to also draw in more disciplines. There’s going to be music, a Viking boat is being carved my sculptor Mark Crowley and we’re having a comic corner and a more up-front promotions corner for the creatives involved.

This year we are bringing together near on 50 creatives from all disciplines, some have crossed over from Transformations and there are well over 20 new creatives being showcased. So there is a good mix.  Excitingly, by the end of the project not only will the creatives involved have created their own personal Nine Realms, but they will also have created a collective Nine Realms which can be used to introduce new audiences and young people to this material. It can be used as an innovative, educational tool.  We learned a lot from the great schools’ day we had with King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn in relation to this.

As with Transformations, I will be posting out an overview of each realm month by month along with deadlines for the submission of the writing (poetry, prose etc). I will also attach writing prompts and an audio of one of the stories as well. We will be drawing from both the Prose and Poetc Eddas as well as other source material. The order will be as follows:

October 2014: Asgard (Month 1, Realm of the Warrior Gods)

November 2014: Vanaheim (Month 2, Realm of the Vanir, the gods associated with wisdom, nature, magic and fertility)

December 2014: Jutenheim (Month 3, Realm of the Giants)

January 2015: Nidavellir (Month 4, Realm of the Dwarves)

February 2015: Nifelheim (Month 5, Realm of the Dead, where evil men die)

March 2015: Helheim (Month 6, The Realm of the Dead, which men pass through in order to die in Nifelheim)

April 2015: Muspelheim (Month 7, Realm of Fire)

May 2015: Midgard (Month 8, Realm of the People)

June 2015: Alfheim (Month 9, Realm of the Light Elves)

During April/May we will collectively run a Kickstarter campaign for one aspect of our project.

The Writing: 

In this collaboration writers can chose to write in whichever form they like- prose, poetry play-format etc.

In alignment with the Norse Sagas themselves there will be a focus on ORALITY and storytelling, and work will be centred around the themes of POWER, NATURE and RELIGION.  There will also be a focus on translation and rhythm, and we are hoping that a separate off-shoot project can grow from this when we translate what we do into different languages. The writers are free to be as modern and contemporary as they like, but still keeping a feeling of magic.

At the exhibition, in contrast to Transformations, the writing will be communicated to the audience orally/in person or by recording. The oral communication of the poetry in Transformations was such a success that we want to get even more people actively involved and engaged with the writing in The Nine Realms.

As we go through the realms month by month the writers will be submitting their work in both a written and oral format/mp3. The idea being that we will create and record an oral version of the writing within the project. The poems will also be placed into a Nine Realms playlist on Soundcloud. This alongside some specially commissioned pieces of music will be turned into a CD and performed across the 5 days at the exhibition.

We are also intending to take the writing into libraries: one in King’s Lynn and the other in Norwich and have a theme of storytelling.

The writers will be submitting one piece (or more if they wish), and there will be a selection process at the end in relation to which pieces go into the exhibition.

The 22 Poets and Writers are: 

Nat Hall
Eleanor Perry
Mina Polen
Stephannie Brennan
James Knight
Lydia Allison
Ross Beattie
Rebecca Audra Smith
Joanna Lee
Jim C Mackintosh
Robert de Born
Richard Biddle
Karin Heyer
Kate Garrett
Greg Mackie
Shirley Golden
Adam Wimbush
Carol Robson
John Mansell
Tom Murphy
Mandy Gibson
Lenka Monk

 

The Music:

This year we have decided to bring music into our project and we have commissioned three musicians and composers to write 3, 8 minute pieces to represent the realms:

Ruth Angell, violinist, singer, amongst other instruments will be composing music for Asgard, Vanaheim and Nifelheim

Shaun Blezard, a creative technologist, will be composing music for Jotunheim, Helheim, and Nidavellir. Shaun composed the music for The Recovery Project we did the year before last.

Simon Beavis, a music maker, is composing music for Muspelheim, Alfheim and Midgard

We are hoping that there will be a live performance of the music along with the poetry at the exhibition, and the compositions will be used in-between poems and as a background to the poetry. The music will set the tone of the realms. ArtiPeeps and I are thrilled to be working with these composers and to bring in this new element.

We are in the process of consolidating a partnership with Future Radio in Norwich and all being well we will be recording the CD at their studio in Norwich.

The Art:

We have also attached 19 artists to the Realms. 2 per realm (with the exception of Muspelheim which has 3). As with Transformations, they cross a range of styles and mediums including photography and sculpture. Each artist, with the help of the ‘woolly viking hat of fate’, has been allocated a realm from the 9,  which they can create for themselves inspired by the poetry and prose written about their realm by the Realms writers, and by their own research and the project overviews. The artists, if they wish, can create pictures for the individual realms as they go along, but only their allocated realm will be exhibited. For those artists outside of the UK, the same pattern as Transformations will be followed and we will frame a high quality 300 dpi image of their work on their behalf. The original will be available for sale through the artist.

The artists involved are:

Deborah Sheehy (Month 1, Oct. Asgard)
Diana Probst (Month 1, Oct. Asgard)
To be confirmed (Month 2, Nov. Vanaheim)
Heather Burns (Month 2, Nov. Vanaheim)
Ieuan Edwards (Month 3, Dec. Jotunheim)
Jasmine Reynolds (Month 3, Dec. Jotunheim)
Jeremy Moseley (Month 4, Dec. Nidavellir)
Cliona Sheehan (Month 4, Jan. 2015, Nidavellir)
Charlie Redding (Month 5, Feb. 2015, Nifelheim)
Rob Fitzmaurice (Month 5, Mar, Nifelheim)
Ryan Atkins (Month 6, April, Helheim)
Lili Morgan (Month 6, April, Helheim)
Gill Offley (Month 7, May, Muspelheim)
Chad Swanson (Month 7, June, Muspelheim)
Mark Peverley (Month 7, June, Muspelheim)
James Mackenzie (Month 8, July Midgard)
Raymond Bentley (Month 8, July Midgard)
Elaine Offley (Month 9, Aug Alfheim)
Ann Supan (Month 9 Aug Alfheim)

 

Our Partners:

Elizabeth and Lisa

The lovely Elizabeth and Lisa from Florida USA will also be involved with us again. This time actually creating a hard-copy comic inspired by the characters and realms of Norse Mythology. This hard-copy version will be made available to attendees at the exhibition, and act, once again, as a entry point for younger people and adults. As mentioned above, this year we’re going to have a comic corner and hopefully get the comic animated….Watch this space….

We are also going to be continuing our collaboration with both Hanse House and Deborah Services Limited, King’s Lynn, who provided our exhibition scaffolding.

King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn:

I’m thrilled to say that as a direct result of the great schools’ day we had with Transformations KES Academy in King’s Lynn want to get involved with our Norse project this year. They want to involve the art and english departments and their pupils. We are fleshing out what this will look like at the moment and I’ll let you know as more details unfold.

Millfield School, Somerset,

Millfield and their pupils took up a FreeSpace with us last year, and one of their post’s on ArtiPeeps got Freshly Pressed. The quality of Millfield’s young poets is apparent. We’re thrilled that they want to work alongside us on this project. Pupils of all ages will be writing their own myths and stories which will more than likely be posted out on ArtiPeeps as we go along. This is all being firmed up now.

We will be incorporating the work of both KES and Millfield into our exhibition. The exact way this will be done will be confirmed shortly…Watch this space…

Future Radio

Future Radio is a community radio station in Norwich, Norfolk, which broadcasts a breadth of user-created programmes to Norwich on a daily basis. It also runs courses in radio production and has a recording studio in which we are hoping to record the music and poetry for The Nine Realms. We are also hoping that they will interview our creatives and perhaps get involved with the storytelling workshops we hope to put on in libraries. Watch this space on this one too.

As with Transformations, as The Nine Realms evolves, new partnerships will emerge, and I shall keep you up-to-date as we move along.

The Funding of our project:

From this point onwards I will be applying to a variety of funders and sponsors in order to finance what we are creating. Through October and November the Chair of ArtiPeeps and I will be preparing budgets and I will start writing applications in November/December. This is a big project and therefore we are approaching a breadth of potential funders. They will range from local authorities, to public money funders, to foundations, to individual sponsors. We will also, as mentioned above, be holding a Kickstarter Campaign for one aspect of our collaboration. I have no doubt in my heart and my head that we can fund this rich, magical, multi-discipline project which is filled with such a range of talented creatives.

I’m excited to kick the whole project off with the Asgard overview next week, and I’m 100% sure that The Nine Realms’ Vikings will create something of high quality once again that inspires, innovates and promotes creativity as well as showing how relevant the Norse myths still are!

Thank you for your interest!

Nicky

P.S. We should shortly have a project logo for the Nine Realms created by Gary Caldwell

Transformations: Art, and Meeting Face-to-Face

29 Sep

new-badge5

 

Supported with public funds by Arts Council England.

Supported by Norfolk County Council.

 

Pre-amble

Firstly,  let me share this link to the newspaper article that was written by The Lynn News in response to Transformations. It sums up the whole experience entirely: ‘ArtiPeeps King’s Lynn exhibition ‘rip-roaring success”:

http://goo.gl/4uNuUh

And here’s the Wordle I did of the Evaluation Sheet we had at the exhibition (click to enlarge):

 

Cloud 17

 

For me, the most interesting evaluatory word in real terms amidst all of the above is the word ‘Confused’.  This lone word is potentially a real point of growth and development for us. What we presented to a viewing audience was a huge swathe of material that nearly everybody appreciated in someway, but that maybe still needs to be contextualised more for better understanding.  It’s made me ask: do we need more explanatory information?; how can we best guide people around our projects? are we putting on collaborations or exhibitions?  These are big, fundamental questions that affect our artistic practice and future projects. These are all really great questions to be asking as we step into our next project.

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Art and Connecting

When Transformations first started out as a project I hadn’t even thought of incorporating art or making it a multi-form project. It was going to be solely a poetry project. However, the power of juxtaposing one form up against another is undeniable, and the more that thought brewed the more the idea of bringing art in seemed inevitable. The art and the poetry could juxtapose, they could also mirror. Either way they would stimulate interest in different ways, broadening out the reach of our project. I never thought in my wildest dreams that in the asking and in the return I would get such a diversity of mediums, themes and styles. The level of skill too was beyond measure too. Also the mixture of emerging and professional creatives provided a really good balance.

In case you’ve forgotten here are all the Transformations pieces:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

7 of the 15 pieces were framed by us, with some of the artists (Rob Fitzmaurice,  Diana Probst, James Mackenzie and Heather Burns) delivering their art themselves. It was such a privilege to meet them for the first time and here they are with their pieces:

 

Rob Fitzmaurice an The Transformation of Hecuba, Book 13

Rob Fitzmaurice an The Transformation of Hecuba, Book 13

Diana Probst delivering her Book  picture

Diana Probst delivering her Book picture

Heather Burns and her Book 6 painting A Circle Unbroken

Heather Burns and her Book 6 painting A Circle Unbroken

 

Seven seems to have been our lucky number as 7 pieces of art were sold too: James Mackenzie’s The Moon’s Dark Shadow, which went to the Vice Principal of King Edward VII Academy, King’s Lynn:

The Proud owner of James Mackenzie's picture

The Proud owner of James Mackenzie’s picture

 

And Lili Morgan had her first ever picture bought…Here’s the red marker going on, placed by the owner:

 

The moment Lili's painting was sold

The moment Lili’s painting was sold

 

Both Kelly Occhiuzzo’s piece Echo and Narcissus was sold, and two prints of emerging artist Charle Redding’s print The Mortal Coil were also sold. We hope to build on this next year with a designated promotion zone where people can sell other pieces and exhibition prints.

Also the impact of the comic strip and cartoon orientated pictures was pivotal in the consolidation of our use of comics in what we do:

 

Teenager looking at Comic Strip

 

Schools' Day: KES Academy, King's Lynn, Sara Mena's Picture Strength and Disgrace

Schools’ Day: KES Academy, King’s Lynn, Sara Mena’s Picture Strength and Disgrace

 

The interest younger people showed in the comic strip material was obvious and a really good introduction to the material and to Ovid’s Metamorphoses. With The Nine Realms we will be having a designated Comic Corner, a physical comic and hopefully an animation of some sort.

Overall, a good number of us met for the first-time, and connected in real-time. I’m hoping that next year even more of us can meet and share in the collective experience. I’m excited to communicate our next project to a viewing and hearing audience in King’s Lynn and Norfolk, who now not only know who we are but also the quality of our work and our intention. In the not-to-distant-future I am hoping to put in place some sort of travel bursary to help creatives take part in our projects in real-time, so more of the collective can meet and see the impact of their work on others.

I shall be introducing our next large-scale project on Wednesday, and thank you, once again, for your interest.

 

All the very best.

 Nicky

 

Rewriting the Universe by Daniella Sciuto & J. Matthew Waters (FreeSpace #2)

22 Sep

Welcome to the second FreeSpace from poets Daniella Sciuto and J Matthew Waters. ‘Rewriting the Universe’ is the second of three collaborative pieces that Daniella and John will be creating together.

 

writing 3

 

.R

Rewriting the Universe

 

I drew these lines ages ago without

understanding the consequences

and my desire to protect them

weakened as time wore on

.

I sketched these images

fast frenetic murals on the wall

portraying all my doubts

concerning this world

and myself

and then I lived on

each day passing by

these lines remained unchanged

concealed by a thin layer of imagination

.

I crossed the line into a new

form of reality

regaining my strength by

becoming one with creation

drawn across the land

yet the pull of these lines

that basis of all

beyond the veil of life

influenced everything

no matter how much I whitewashed

my tabula rasa was not pure

and I found myself

redrawing the lines

found myself starting all over again

.

this is how it both

ends and begins

with poetry written

rewritten and rewritten again

layers upon meanings

upon words

with us forever

redrawing the lines

starting all over again

whilst the ghosts of poems past

influence everything

 

 

If you want to hear an audio of John reading his poem you can do so here

 

Poets’ Biographies

 

Daniella Sciuto: I’m a writer from The Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Proud owner of an unused degree in Anthropology. Am owned by many, many books which don’t seem to want to leave once they have been read. My first story to be published was on a pillow. I can be found, together with my ramblings, at bluebellina.wordpress.com and @iwasaplatypus on Twitter.

J Matthew Waters is a poet residing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After earning his liberal arts degree in English from the University of Iowa in 1984, he has since enjoyed a career in the financial services industry.  His first collection of poetry entitled “Five Hundred Pieces” was self-published in 1997. His second collection entitled “In the Middle of Somewhere” was self-published as a Kindle ebook in 2011. His most recent work can be found at his poetry blog jdubqca.com.You can follow Johnhttps://twitter.com/jdubqca

 

Please do watch out for the third collaborative piece from Daniella and John which should appear over the next few months.

 

FreeSpace is a creative opportunity that offers 3 posts on ArtiPeeps to an individual or group for showcasing or a project. The slots can be taken in a cluster or spread over a period of months.

Weekend Showcase : Brenna Layne (Writer)

19 Sep

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 creative, letting their work speak for itself.

______

Brenna Layne

 

The Glass Box

.

Love is the crooked thing.
—William Butler Yeats

 

Prologue

Imagine a village.

Imagine it perching high on a steep slope just above the treeline, clinging to the mountainside like a bird to a branch in the instant before it takes flight.

You have seen such villages before, and you know how the winter wind laces its fingers through the cracks under doors and around windows, crying to be let in. You know that scrabbling a scant living from rocky soil has carved deep lines around the mouths and eyes of the men and women. You know that their children run wild over rock and alpine meadow, driving the goats home just before twilight falls.

You have seen such villages before, and you know their inhabitants. There is always a mayor. He always has a wife who died in childbirth, and an ample waistcoat, and some number of lovely daughters, and the sharpness of his vision always extends just to the borders of his own town.

There is always a healer, an old man or woman whose cottage smells of pungent herbs. The healer always sees a little farther than the mayor, just far enough to see his or her own death as it approaches, padding on soft paws up from the foothills.

There is always a holy man, too, though he goes by different names—prophet, seer, madman, poet, fool. He stands with one foot in this world, and one in another. He sees things that do not exist, and hears voices on the wind.

There are always craftspeople, filling the streets (which are always winding) with the music of their industry, and their forges and kilns and looms and ovens are always attended by wide-eyed and slightly underfed apprentices. The craftspeople and their apprentices squint inward, into the mysteries of fire and clay, the warp and weft of fabric, and the alchemy of rising dough.

There is always a beautiful young woman, and a minimum of two strapping young lads are always in love with her at any given time. Whether one rival kills the other will determine many of the events which will follow.

And there is always another, a stranger blown in by the mountain storms that rage about the peak.

You have seen such villages before, but not this one.

This village backs up like a cornered animal against an impassable mountain peak, which is not unexpected. A thick forest covers the slopes below the village, hemming it in, which is also not surprising. If this were any other village, a path would run through the forest. Few of the villagers would venture down it, of course, but occasionally a small caravan would make its way up the mountain to trade. Perhaps once or twice in a generation, a young woman or man, weary of smoky fires fueled by goat dung and houses huddled together against the wind like old gossips, would venture down the path that wound through the towering firs and aspens, and would embark on a quest for True Love or Adventure.

But there is no path through this forest. There may have been, once, but the trees have grown close together. The forest is expanding, inching slow fingers up the slopes. Every year, the grazing lands grow a little smaller. Every year, the village boundary contracts just a little, almost too little to be worth noticing. The villagers have built a low boundary wall of the grey stone that is their chief natural resource. The wall keeps nothing out or in. A child can step over it. The wall is a reminder only, a way of marking time. Each year, the forest creeps a little closer.

Nothing in the village is wooden, unless it is a hundred years old. The sounds of axes never echo off the mountainside, and there has not been a carpenter in the village for a hundred years. If there were Woodsmen here once, no one now living remembers them. And no one ever, ever ventures beneath the shadow of the trees.

There is something moving in the forest. What it may be, no one can say. The villagers understand one thing about the forest—whoever enters it will die. Because there is always an exception to prove the rule, a boy wandered into the trees once, seven years ago, and sprinted out again with only emptiness behind his eyes. Now he speaks in riddles by day, and screams at night. Now, if a child dares another child to dart between the trunks and back again, both children’s fathers set the rope to their backs, for love of them.

No one comes to the village through the forest. From time to time during the brief summers, when the slopes burst into a patchwork of color, a traveler-mage materializes without warning in the village square. No one else has business with the village. The only enticements it has to offer are copious amounts of goat cheese and the beautiful young woman, and both these things can be found in any other town of its size.

Once upon a time—or somewhere in its general vicinity—a man came to the village. If this was a different story, such an occurrence would hardly be worth mentioning. To this village, however, no one ever came, and so the event proved to be not only noteworthy but very nearly cataclysmic.

The villagers feared the stranger when he first arrived, because he had emerged alive and whole from the forest, and the light of reason still shone in his eyes. They watched him as he set up camp on the slope just above the village, wondering how long he would stay, and if he had brought anything to bargain over. One or two wondered if he had anything worth taking, and calculated whether anyone would notice if he went missing. Then they watched him as he built a house after the manner of their own, lifting and stacking stones and roofing it with sod, and wondered what he could possibly be thinking, to settle there.

This man’s name was not Frost, but he called himself that anyway, and so that was how the villagers came to know him. When he arrived, more than a few of the village maidens sighed and pined and batted their eyelashes, until their fathers asked them if they had something in their eyes, while their mothers wisely asked nothing and silently wondered if they, too, were not too old to be sighing and pining and batting. If this were another story, this would have been due to devastating personal beauty or at least a seductive aura of danger on Frost’s part. However, it was due mainly to the fact that Frost paid no attention to anyone, and did not smell like goats.

At first, he threatened to live up to his name. On closer inspection, everyone found that their first impressions had been correct. Frost was, in fact, as cold as the winter winds that swept down from the peak, freezing the goats’ milk in the pail in the time it took to move between the shed and the kitchen.

The next time the traveller-mage arrived in town, he brought, for some inscrutable reason, a great quantity of window-glass. Frost bought most of it, and fitted his stone cottage with windows looking up toward the peak and out over the treetops below. The villagers shook their heads, but a few of them bought glass, too, when the others weren’t looking, and replaced the goatskin-covered windows in their own houses. The traveller-image returned the next spring with more glass, and by the time he left, most of the windows in the village glinted in the sunlight, though all but the stranger’s looked back toward each other, away from the storm-wreathed mountain and the shadows of the trees.

Time passed. People got married, had children, grew old, and died, hemmed in by the trees that pressed closer each year. Many things happened, but three in particular are worth noting. In order, they are these:

1) The village matchmaker died.

2) The mayor, improvising as mayors must, broke with hundreds of years of tradition that dictated that the matchmaker be an eccentric old woman, and foisted the job off on Frost.

3) The beautiful young woman vanished without a trace.

Because you have known villages like this one, you know that a village has a long memory, but also a prodigious capacity for forgetfulness. By the time three more winters had come and gone, the first and third things had become irrelevant, and only the second mattered. It mattered because of a glass box. Because you have known stories like this one, you have heard about a princess in a glass box, who is awakened by True Love’s Kiss.

This is not that story.

 

nb. the above is the beginning of a larger meta-fairytale which Brenna is currently developing. 

.

Biography

I am a writer, wife, mother, beekeeper, and chicken-wrangler living in rural Virginia. I write YA fantasy, and am currently seeking an agent.

http://brennalayne.com/

https://twitter.com/writerdotmom

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