Search results for 'fear trust collaboration'

Fear/Trust Multi-form Collaboration #4 (Poetry/Art)

19 Nov

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

FEAR/TRUST Collaboration

Welcome to the forth and final collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of fear and trust.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The artists have taken up the theme of fear, and the poets, in response, are engaging  with the theme of trust. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions – the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Ray Bentley (Artist) and Melissa Diem (Poet)

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Behind

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Behind by Ray Bentley

An Empathy for Small Machines

by Melissa Diem

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An Empathy for Small Machines

Please do click on the poem to enlarge

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You can find out more about Ray and Melissa below:

Ray Bentley  

Ray Bentley is an award-winning painter from Stoke-on-Trent whose still lifes and figurative paintings have been exhibited throughout the UK. He now lives and works near Redcar with his partner and dog, where he spends his days eating biscuits, napping, not doing the housework, tweeting about his favourite things, reading thrillers and – occasionally – painting. You can learn more about him at http://raymondbentley.com/.

 

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Melissa Diem:

Melissa Diem has an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin and was awarded a Bank of Ireland Millennium Scholarship. She has published the novel, Changeling [Pan (UK) and Gill & Macmillan (Ireland)] and poetry in several journals including Poetry Ireland Review, The Stinging Fly, The Shop, The Sunday Tribune, and Rival. She was the Featured Poet in The Stinging Fly Spring issue 2010. She was shortlisted for both the Hennessy Literary Awards and the Bradshaw Cork Literary Review Poetry Manuscript Competition and joint runner up for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. Melissa has exhibited visual media throughout Ireland including at the RHA, Iontas, Guinness Hopstore and The Ark. The one about the bird and Appraisal are her first poetry films and have been selected for several festivals including Belfast Film Festival 2013, Filmpoem 2013, Visible Verse 2013, 9th Cologne International Videoart Festival and finalist in the La Parola Immaginata – Trevigliopoesia 2013 and Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition, 2013.  She is currently working on her third poetry film and developing artwork for an upcoming book of poetry. 

http://melissadiem.com/

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*If you would like to be a creative involved in one of our ‘Supporting Mental Health’ Collaborations next season do get in touch via the comment boxes or @ArtiPeep

Thank you so much for your interest.

Fear/Trust Multi-form Collaboration #3

4 Nov

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

FEAR/TRUST Collaboration

Welcome to the third collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of fear and trust.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The artists have taken up the theme of fear, and the poets, in response, are engaging  with the theme of trust. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions – the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Mat JimDog (Artist) and Tom Murphy (Poet)

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I Fear Becoming What I Fear

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I fear becoming what I fear

Endure 

by Tom Murphy

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Endure 5

Please do click on the poem to enlarge

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You can find out more about Mat and Tom below:

Mat JimDog  

There are four key elements from my childhood that define my life and it’s course. A strange relationship with my parents that was, and is, never neglectful but not loving. We exist alongside each other almost like strangers with no emotional attachment. As a young boy starved of somebody telling me they loved me it left me vulnerable. The man who filled the void was in every sense the manipulative, secretive, grooming paedophile. From the age of eight till twelve he owned me, abused and left me utterly confused about sex, love and who I was. I read research recently that linked childhood diabetes with trauma so it seems unsurprising that aged eleven I was found to be a type 1 diabetic with absolutely no family history of this. When the abuse came to a sudden stop, as the family moved to a different part of the country, I was so bereft that I searched for more and picked up men in the local area until one day a violent sexual encounter and beating scared me so much at nearly fourteen I retreated inwards. I went to school and then avoided everything else.

The next ten years were a roller coaster ride of getting somewhere, then crashing out. I then found myself on a teaching course and discovered I was good at it. I met my wife, somebody who told me they loved me and actually meant it. I had a few good years but depression and diabetes are not a good mix and the consequences of poor self care began to cause me problems. The past was always too much of a burden and I was constantly questioning myself. I had a severe episode in 2003 that left me unable to carry on teaching but the warning signs were not really heeded by the medical professional in terms of diabetic care or mental health. By 2005 I was a real mess and attempted suicide, my diabetic care so bad that I was admitted to hospital in a coma with a blood sugar so high it was a record at their A&E to be so high and still living.

In hospital my wife brought me pencils and a pad. At that moment, having never drawn for myself or attempted any kind of art beyond school, I found a voice. A way to communicate to others. I found I can draw how I am feeling and communicate the problems in this way. More importantly I found I could make sense to myself the stuff in my head. Talking about it did nothing. But the act of committing to paper made make sense to me.

I still struggle daily with my mental health, I suffer very serious consequences from the thirty odd years of poor diabetic care. Now, however I can cope. I have this thing called being creative that lights my way and has given me hope. I have been lucky to survive, and it is through my painting and helping others who suffer through creative activity, that I prosper.

https://www.facebook.com/JimDogArt

https://twitter.com/jimdogart

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Tom Murphy:

https://twitter.com/sandcave

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Please do comeback for the final  Fear/Trust collaboration in this series on Tuesday 9th November.

Thank you for your interest.

Fear/Trust Multi-form Collaboration #2

22 Oct

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

FEAR/TRUST Collaboration

Welcome to the second collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of fear and trust.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The artists have taken up the theme of fear, and the poets, in response, are engaging  with the theme of trust. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions – the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Rob Fitzmaurice (Artist) and Robin Sounder (Poet)

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Five Fugitive Fears

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#1

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five_fugitive_fears_0002

#2

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five_fugitive_fears_0003

#3

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five_fugitive_fears_0004

#4

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five_fugitive_fears_0005

#5

 

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Transmigration

by Robin Sounder

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Playing with fire

Your soul climbed up

Towards the sky

 Like a smoke signal

The sun mocks your

Transmigration

 It burns so bright

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The darkness comes

crashing violently

And I know that last night

Was the last night

Of this life

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I trust there is a plan

Written down somewhere

Wordy and dense

It winds like a maze through

The broken morning

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Blue water

The empty screen

Blue love

I know you’re hiding

In some place

Inside of me

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I can’t remember 

The sound of your voice

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I was trusting 

In transference

Trading one hollow thing

For another

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Blue pain

Through the wires

Clings to me

Like a scar

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Watching myself in the mirror

I was watching 

The news

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I’d seen all the signs

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When I learned to trust

I was afraid

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Did god leave a light on

For us?

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I could trust in transcendence

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But my eyes

Are not windows

They are walls

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We are sheltered somewhere

Inside of our bodies

Trapped

This is the final betrayal

When will

The very home

That houses our soul

Fight us to the death?

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We have no choice

We have to trust

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Playing with fire

Our souls climb up

Towards the sky

 Like a smoke signal 

The sun mocks our

Transmigration

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You can find more about Rob and Robin here:

Robert Fitzmaurice (born 1960) is a British painter and printmaker. His work, which he describes as lyrical figuration, is characterised by an expressive use of colour and form. The human figure is an important motif for him, and it appears in various guises, shaped by ideas about the human condition and rites of passage. Originally from the Midlands, he studied Fine Art at the universities of Sunderland and Reading. Since then he has exhibited in the UK and abroad, and his work has entered a number of private collections. He lives and creates in Reading, Berkshire.

http://www.robertfitzmaurice.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/robfitzmaurice

Robin Sounder:

http://robinsounder.com/

https://twitter.com/RobinSounder

http://quiverandarch.com/

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Please do comeback for next Fear/Trust collaboration on Monday 4th  November.

Thank you for your interest.

Fear/Trust Multi-form Collaboration #1

7 Oct

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

 

‘Supporting Mental Health’

FEAR/TRUST Collaboration

Welcome to the first collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of fear and trust.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The artists have taken up the theme of fear, and the poets, in response, are engaging  with the theme of trust. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions – the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Ryan Atkins (Artist) and  Richard Biddle (Poet)

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Fearfulness by Ryan Atkins

‘Fearfulness’

Please do click on the picture to enlarge;  it’s worth it! 

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Of Nothing

by Richard Biddle

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always elsewhere, potentially

lost in a cliché;

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terror’s glitch

haunted by gravity’s pull

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a padded cell

unfurnished with radio waves

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a circle of air drawn

too quickly, too precisely

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a hair’s breadth away

from what is not yet begun

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something less than a whisper

though no more than a wingbeat

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a voice of white-noise;

invisibility seen as phantoms

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– words of antimatter –

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without wanting more

or holding on

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taste this

infinite

colour

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You can find more about Ryan and Richard here:

Ryan

http://theryanatkins.blogspot.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/theryanatkins

Richard

http://writings43.blogspot.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/littledeaths68

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Please do comeback for next Fear/Trust collaboration on Tuesday 22nd  October.

Thank you for your interest.

Realm 5: Niflheim – Overview and writing prompts, The Nine Realms, an ArtiPeeps Combined Arts Collaboration 2014-2015

12 Feb

nine realms8

The Nine Realms

9 months, 19 poets and writers, 22 Artists, 3 composers, 1 Viking boat = a magical reworking of Norse Mythology for contemporary audiences

Nifelheim

(the realm of the dead)

 

Vikings Ahoy!

Here we are in the middle of February,  with the deadline for the poetry and writing for the 4th realm Nidavellir today! I shall be posting out more Jotunheim poems this week and next week, and then we’ll be onto Nidavellir. This month we are outlining the realm of Niflheim, and the deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for this realm is Thursday 12th March 2015.

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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1. A brief  Overview of Niflheim

 Niflheim means ‘Mist World’ and lies to the North of Ginnnungagap, the huge void  from which the world grew. It originally had 9 frozen rivers attached to it and was filled with ice, frost and snow. The rivers bubbled up from a cauldron called Hvergelmir and their  waters flowed into Ginnungagap.

In the guise of three men Odin gives a lesson in norse mythology to Gylfi (the earliest recorded king of Scandinavia). 

It was many ages before the earth was shaped that the Mist-World [Niflheimr] was made; and midmost within it lies the well that is called Hvergelmir, from which spring the rivers called Svöl, Gunnthrá, Fjörm, Fimbulthul, Slídr and Hríd, Sylgr and Ylgr, Víd, Leiptr; Gjöll is hard by Hel-gates.

The Prose Edda, Section III of Gylfaginning, in translation by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur (1916), p. 16.

Niflheim was said to be a nine day ride northwards and downwards from Midgard. At its centre was a towering place called Hel, whose gates were protected by a female of the same name. She is described in a variety of ways (pending on the source): as a half black-half-white she-monster and as a half living flesh and half rotting cadaver. There is also a distinction between Helheim and Niflheim:  men pass through Hel to die in Niflheim (Crossley-Holland: xxi).

Niflheim is also mentioned as the final  destination of the jötunn who was killed by Thor after he had built Asgard:

Now that the Æsir saw surely that the hill-giant was come thither, they did not regard their oaths reverently, but called on Thor, who came as quickly. And straight away the hammer Mjöllnir was raised aloft; he paid the wright’s wage, and not with the sun and the moon. Nay, he even denied him dwelling in Jötunheim, and struck but the one first blow, so that his skull was burst into small crumbs, and sent him down below under Niflhel [Niflheim].

The Prose Edda, Section XXXIV of Gylfaginning, in translation by Brodeur (1916), p. 55.

Rather than staying in Nifelheim the dead could also pass on to Nastrond/Náströnd* (the strand of corpses), where men must wade in poisoned streams before being cast into the Hvergelmir (cauldron) to feed Nidhogg the dragon. These ideas have affected Christian notions of fate and wickedness (Allan: 133).

*See Things of Interest below

Two other sorts of beings were said to come from Nifelheim the Hrímthursar, known as the Frost Giants (or Rime-Giants) and the Niflungar (“children of the mist”), a group of people who were treasure-seekers and hoarders. They are also known as  the Nibelungs.

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Gylfi and Odin

Gylfi and Odin

 

2. Gylfi’s Education:

Gylfi  meets ‘The Mysterious Three’ men mentioned above in Asgard, where, in search of wisdom, he questions them.  Each of the three men sit on a throne and guard the gates of Valhalla. The three are known as:  Jafnharr (Equally High), Harr (High) and Thridi (Third). He is unaware that the three are in effect incarnations of Odin.  

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a. Ice and Flames:

Odin (disguised as Thridi/Þriði)  tells Gylfi that Ymir was formed when the ice from Niflheim (Niflheimr) coalesced with the flames from Muspelheim (Muspelheimr), and thus began the creation of the world:

Just as cold arose out of Niflheim, and all terrible things, so also all that looked toward Múspelheim became hot and glowing; but Ginnungagap was as mild as windless air, and when the breath of heat met the rime, so that it melted and dripped, life was quickened from the yeast-drops, by the power of that which sent the heat, and became a man’s form. And that man is named Ymir, but the Rime-Giants call him Aurgelmir; […]

 The Prose Edda, Section VII of Gylfaginning, in translation by Brodeur (1916), p. 17.

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b. The Second Root:

Talking of the world tree Yggdrasill, Jafnhárr (Odin) tells Gylfi that Jotunheim (Jötunheimr) is located under the second root, where Ginnungagap once was:

The Ash is greatest of all trees and best: its limbs spread out over all the world and stand above heaven. Three roots of the tree uphold it and stand exceeding broad: one is among the Æsir; another among the Rime-Giants, in that place where aforetime was the Yawning Void; the third stands over Niflheim, and under that root is Hvergelmir, and Nídhöggr gnaws the root from below.

The Prose Edda, Section XV of Gylfaginning, in translation by Brodeur (1916), p. 27.

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c. The Story of Hel and Loki:

Gylfi is then told the story of how Loki had created Hel via his relationship with giantess Angerboda (‘she who offers sorrow’). Hel was the third daughter of this partnership and was sister to Fenrir (the eldest) and Jormungand (the second child, and a huge serpent).  Hel’s looks and grim demeanour were particularly disturbing to the Asgard gods. When the gods then heard that Loki had fathered these children, they felt that the three should best be captured. A group of gods gathered and went to Jotunheim to capture the siblings. They tied up Angerboda and took Hel to be cast into Niflheim by Odin (Crossley-Holland: 33). :

Hel he cast into Niflheim, and gave to her power over nine worlds, to apportion all abodes among those that were sent to her: that is, men dead of sickness or of old age. She has great possessions there; her walls are exceeding high and her gates great.

The Prose Edda, Section III of Gylfaginning, in translation by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur (1916), p. 16.

In this way,  Hel became the mistress of the world of the dead including  all those in the nine realms who died of disease and old age.  Odin stipulated that she had to share out all her food with whoever came to her.  

You can find the entire version of the Gylfaginning here.

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3. Hrimthursar/hrímþursar

or Frost Giants

When Ymir was formed out of the primeval chaos of Ginnungagap a procreative sequence was instigated: out of Ymir’s armpits grew his son and daughter, and his two feet gave birth to another son (a six headed monster). Ymir’s son and daughter and the six headed monster created what is known as the Hrimthursar (the name given to the frost giants who populated Niflheim).  The gods, however, debated this latter scenario, saying that the Hrimthursar’s origins stem from Buri (the grandfather of Odin. Vili and Ve) instead. The story goes that when  Odin killed Ymir, all his blood/water flooded Niflheim and killed all the frost giants (jötnar).  Nearly all the giants were killed barring one: the giant Bergelmir and his wife. Together they repopulated the earth:

From Ymir’s flesh the earth was formed, and the rocks from out of his bones; the sky from the skull of the ice-cold giant, and the sea from his blood.

Orchard, translated by Andrew (2010). “Vafthrúdnismál”. The poetry of the Elder Edda. London: Penguin Classics

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Themes, Relevance and Questions:

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Morality, Wickedness, Religion: In the creation of Hel we can almost see embodied in her a metaphor for moral choice: who is bad and who is good. She has the power to cast men into to Nifelheim, or into to Náströnd or to stay in Hel. She is one of the main figures (along with the Aesir and Vanir gods) in norse mythology who controls morality. The idea of moral rectitude and fate is put in place here. The themes of which you can also see flowed into Christian doctrines (Allan: 133).

 Exploration Point: What type of morality is shown within the Eddas? How is the harsh, dark morality balanced? Through nature? Through mysticism? Through play within language?

 

Things of Interest:

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1. Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur  (1881-1971. author of the  famous 1916 edition of The Prose Edda):

 

Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur 1916 ed

Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur 1916 ed

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Brodeur, born in Franklyn Massachusetts, USA, was given the Royal Order of Vasa for his services to Scandinavian culture from the government of Sweden. He was also forward-thinking in terms of his politics.  He was one of three members of the Berekely Communist Faculty Group.  Brodeur also initially refused to sign the loyalty oath as required by the state in 1949. He ultimately did decide to sign and continue the fight from within.

W. E. Farnham and A. E. Hutson, Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur, English; German: Berkeley: 1888-1971: Professor of English and Germanic Philology, at Calisphere, University of California Libraries, retrieved February 22, 2012

You can read more about him here:

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

http://pulpflakes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/arthur-gilchrist-brodeur-professor-pulp.html

 

2.  Náströnd

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Click to enlarge the images

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Náströnd (shore of the corpses) is a place in Hel where Níðhöggr the dragon resides eating the corpses and sucking their blood. It is the place where those guilty of murder, adultery and oath-breaking (which the Norse considered the most terrible of crimes) go. Within the shores stood a castle filled with serpents. 

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From the  Völuspá  in The Poetic Edda:

Sal sá hón standa
sólo fiarri,
Nástrǫndu á,
norðr horfa dyrr.
Fello eitrdropar
inn um lióra.
Sá er undinn salr
orma hryggiom.
Sá hón þar vaða
þunga strauma
menn meinsvara
ok morðvarga
ok þannz annars glepr
eyrarúno.
Þar saug Níðhǫggr
nái framgengna,
sleit vargr vera.
Vitoð ér enn, eða hvat?

Völuspá 38-39, Dronke‘s edition
A hall she saw standing
remote from the sun
on Dead Body Shore.
Its door looks north.
There fell drops of venom
in through the roof vent.
That hall is woven
of serpents’ spines.
She saw there wading
onerous streams
men perjured
and wolfish murderers
and the one who seduces
another’s close-trusted wife.
There Malice Striker sucked
corpses of the dead,
the wolf tore men.
Do you still seek to know? And what?

Völuspá 38-39, Dronke’s translation

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%A1str%C3%B6nd

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3. The Nine Worlds of the Ygdrassil:

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4. The three children of Loki:

A brief overview:

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 Optional Poetry and Writing Prompts:

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Epistle

Epistolary poems come from the Latin “epistula” for “letter,” and are poems that literally read as letters. They directly address a subject matter or person. They can be intimate, colloquial or formal and measured.

See here for more details.

Writing Word Prompts:  Blood, Insignificance, Guilt, Serpents, Ice, Fear, Judgement, Brittle

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To confirm, the deadline for all writing, poetry and mp3s for the Nifelheim realm is Thursday 12th March 2015.

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 Thank you so much for your interest.

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References

 Allan, T (2010) Vikings, The Battle at the End of Time, London: Watkins Publishing

Crossley-Holland, K (1993) The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings, London, Penguin Books

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

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

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.

.

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 flotsam 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, all 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’ (Sturluson: 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 symbolically 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

 

 

Pumping by Mina Polen and Creative Release by Mat JimDog: The Anxiety/Release Collaboration #1

31 Mar

cropped-ely-stained-glass1.jpg

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

THE ANXIETY AND RELEASE CLLABORATION

Welcome to the first collaboration in an eight week, fortnightly engagement with the emotions of anxiety and release.  For this particular collaboration we have paired four artists and four poets together. The poets have taken up the theme of anxiety, and the artists, in response, are engaging  with the theme of release. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the dynamics between the two emotions- the clashes and the spectrum between the two contrasting feelings. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features

 Mina Polen (Poet) and Mat JimDog (Artist)

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Copyright of Creative Release Image - JimDog

Creative Release

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Pumping

Waves
…………pumping
right over
my chest

sea mist
…………spraying
the lining
of my heart

rising tides
…………reaching
the fragile shore
of my lungs

the whole sea
………..engulfing
swallowing
my whole body

the night
………..falling
dark and heavy
all around

waves
…………..pumping
sea mist
…………..spraying
rising tides
…………..reaching
the whole sea
………….engulfing
the night
………..falling

all at once

pumping waves
rising tides
spraying sea mist
engulfing ocean
falling night

………….slowly

…………………….finally

…………………………………fading……………….away

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………….

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JimDog 2

Harmful Release 

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You can find more about Mina and Mat here:

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Mina Polen

https://twitter.com/minafiction

http://aldebaranylosnarvales.blogspot.co.uk/

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Here’s Mina’s Weekend Showcase

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Mat JimDog

https://twitter.com/jimdogart

https://www.facebook.com/JimDogArt

 

You can see Mat’s Weekend Showcase here and also his Fear/Trust Collaboration.

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Please do come back for next Anxiety and Release Collaboration on Tuesday 15th April featuring poet Rod Kok and artist Heather Burns.

Thank you for your interest.

 

Comfort Collaboration (Poetry/Art) #3

27 Nov


Comfort

Creatives Making A Difference

  ‘Supporting Mental Health’

Comfort Collaboration

Comfort: 1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. 2. consolation for grief or anxiety.

Welcome to the third and final collaboration in a 5 week, fortnightly engagement with the notion of comfort.  Comfort is something we all need and often, curiously, find hard to get (either from ourselves or others). For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together. Each poet/artist pair, in contrast to  our fear/trust collaboration have been working on the  single theme of comfort. The words and the images working together in  a  uniform exploration of the  texture and nuances of this basic human need. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks pass is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features:

 Atalina Marie Homan (Artist) & 

Rebecca Audra Smith (Poet) 

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Butterfly

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Butterfly by Atalina Marie Homan

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Butterfly

by Rebecca Audra Smith

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Butterfly 2 by Rebecca Audra Smith

Please click on the poem to enlarge

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You can find out more about Atalina and Rebecca here:

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Atalina Marie Homan

Atalina Marie Homan is an artist, poet and writer. Born to a Polynesian mother and English father in the late seventies, she is inspired by both western and eastern culture.

Atalina’s approach to the arts is both expressive and spiritual. Her current portfolio includes a unique series of silhouette drawings, inspired by the wonders of nature and artistic traditions of the pacific that often contain a symbolic or storytelling element.

Atalina studied photography and graphic design and after developing an interest in eastern philosophy and meditation, has recently completed a Bachelors Degree in Metaphysical Science.

Atalina lives along the coast of England with her husband and three children and is currently working on her first book, ‘Love Says’, An inspirational collection of prose poetry written in the spirit of love.

 “I find the arts to be an expression of the soul, a way to both celebrate our journey and explore the illuminating landscape of our emotions. It is incredibly empowering to experience our ability to create, express and manifest our visions and dreams. We all have this ability and use it in many ways in our daily lives, visual creation in the arts simply brings that potential to our conscious awareness, that’s powerful!”

 www.atalinamarie.com

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Rebecca Audra Smith

Rebecca Audra Smith has just finished a Masters in Creative Writing: Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her poems have been featured in Loose Muse’s fourth anthology, Cadaverine’s online magazine, and Now Then Manchester. She is one third of the Stirred feminist collective based in Manchester.

You can find her at beccaaudra.wordpress.com

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Comfort Multiform Collaboration (Poetry/Photo) #2

11 Nov


Comfort

Creatives Making A Difference

  ‘Supporting Mental Health’

Comfort Collaboration

Comfort: 1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. 2. consolation for grief or anxiety.

Welcome to the second collaboration in a 5 week, fortnightly engagement with the notion of comfort.  Comfort is something we all need and often, curiously, find hard to get (either from ourselves or others). For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together. Each poet/artist pair, in contrast to  our fear/trust collaboration have been working on the  single theme of comfort. The words and the images working together in  a  uniform exploration of the  texture and nuances of this basic human need. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks pass is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

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This week’s collaboration features:

 Ken Fasimpaur (Photographer) and Lauren Coulson (Poet) 

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Severing Setting

Severing_Setting-09_Nov_2013-Full

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Panic Attack

by Lauren Coulson

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He finds me curled up
on the sofa like a tangled string.
Sclera stained pink;
canyons carved down my cheeks
like a forest cleaved by a river.

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Words fail. My voice gets caught.
It’s knotted, tight, strangling
in my throat. A wounded animal,
I can only bleat out my sadness.

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He scoops me up, swaddles me
with his arms like a newly born baby.
Traces his hands across the crumples
of my face, doesn’t speak.
I listen to the steady beat of his heart
like a radio, as mine begins to slow.

 

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You can find out more about Ken and Lauren here:

Ken Fasimpaur: 

“My first known rolls of film, black and white stock exposed decades ago, involved documenting aircraft at a local air show or creating convincing but fake UFO snapshots at home. Since then I’ve followed a long cometary orbit in and out of photography, passing periodically through point and shoot film cameras, classrooms, negatives, darkrooms, digital cameras, Photoshop and cameraphones. Over the same period, my subjects have covered architecture, family, nature, surface and abandoned space.

For the past year or more, my photography has revolved in large part around my cameraphone. I’ve shot improvisationally wherever I was and whatever subject caught my fancy, processed the results on the fly, and posted them as possible. Vignette for Android has been my camera of choice and has provided the basis for the couple of filters I routinely use. I find a sense of captured moment in this method, and an emphasis on shooting images and not processing them, which appeals to me for now. When it comes to composition, I’m drawn to the nexus between detail and form, between abstracting the larger concrete and revealing the essential but ephemeral specifics of its nature.”

More of my mobile images can be found on Twitter at @kjfasimpaur

 on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/93020772@N05/

or at http://www.kenfasimpaur.com

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Lauren Coulson

In 1992 a wriggling pink baby popped out of its’ mother, who proudly proclaimed “cor blimey, it’s a girl!”. Since then that baby has gone on to study art and get a first class degree in creative writing (although she is no longer a baby). She now spends her time creating crafts to sell in her online shop and writing about the world around her. Currently she is working on her first novel, a children’s book, but is a poet at heart. On top of this she has branched out into storytelling and running writing workshops in the local community. Mental health is a topic that is very close to her and something she is keen to give support to others about. When she grows up she wants to be a cat.

Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/milkymoonshop
Website: www.laurencoulson.co.uk

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The next Comfort Collaboration will be on Wednesday 27th November

Comfort Multiform Collaboration (Poetry/Art) #1

30 Oct


Comfort

Creatives Making A Difference

  ‘Supporting Mental Health’

Comfort Collaboration

Comfort: 1. a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. 2. consolation for grief or anxiety.

Welcome to the first collaboration in a 5 week, fortnightly engagement with the notion of comfort.  Comfort is something we all need and often, curiously, find hard to get (either from ourselves or others). For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together. Each poet/artist pair, in contrast to  our fear/trust collaboration have been working on the  single theme of comfort. The words and the images working together in  a  uniform exploration of the  texture and nuances of this basic human need. The poets and artists have been exchanging ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the weeks pass is the diverse expression of that exchange.
 It’s our intention that these collaborations will form an online resource which will  potentially bring comfort, provide an innovative  means to engage with difficult feelings, and ultimately to provide access to information about mental health in a stimulating manner. The idea is that we will also eventually group these collaborations together into exhibitions and installations to further promote public awareness and engagement with these issues. Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.

.

This week’s collaboration features:

 Hugo Smith (Artist) and Lenka Monk (Poet) 

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Remembering

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Remembering by Hugo Smith

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Iridescent Point of View

by Lenka Monk

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Many opaque months held captive

In asylum for the damned,

Where words of comfort lost their meaning

Where despair is all, but done.

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There resides the end of it all, or beginning of

brand new starts.

Lay in decay numb and weary,

Or escape the prison’s guards.

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To gaze upon the same world, same things

For once to see the shadow’s hue

Nothing has changed, but the eyes

The iridescent point of view.

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Once again to see the colours

Of the raindrops through the rays,

Hear the whisper wind swept branches

Feel the blood rush in the veins.

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Let the sharp scythe fall silently

Into empty darkened space,

For the light now shines so brightly

Seeps inside and blunts the blades.

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The rusty chain that’s been biting

All the way down to the bone,

The mark will remain and will remind

It didn’t fall down on its own.

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To those of us who made the journey,

Those who’s soul once had bled

Oh, those are bravest in the darkness

Who touched that light up ahead.

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You can find out more about Hugo and Lenka here:

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Hugo Smith:

I am a Belfast based abstract artist.  I work in acrylic on canvas. I use bold colours, blends and images to capture the imagination. My art is based on two themes.  Firstly, memories of the past and the people who made it special.  Secondly, hope for the future. I want my work to ask questions, to inspire, to spark creativity, to add warmth and colour to the owners’ lives. I will always paint. I have big ambitions and I think it is important to dream big, think big and live big.

http://www.hugosmithoriginals.com/

https://twitter.com/Hsmithoriginals

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Lenka Monk:

My name is Lenka, but of course you already know that, so let’s just expand that a little. Writing is my passion. My friend and I self-published a novel, so I am not a stranger to collaboration projects. Writing poems is my “therapy” and it helped me through some difficult times. It helps me express myself and deal with things, when other means just won’t do. When one is choking on words and no sound comes out, what better way is there to pour it all out than in ink? Or paint, if one is an artist, which I am most certainly not. I leave that to the professionals. 🙂 Although, sometimes I refer to my writing as: “painting the canvas with words.”

https://twitter.com/lenkster04

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The next Comfort Collaboration will be on Monday 11th November

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