What happened since my first entry 3 years ago? Lots but mostly irrelevant to this blog. Life around me has changed, both domestically and in the world. Poetry runs through it all though and that’s where I’ll attempt to re-enter my blog-river of thoughts.
February and March this year, I attended Pascale Petit’s course at Tate Modern : The Spirit of Things : Poetry of the Body. We looked at Marlene Dumas’s paintings, which is the current exhibition, and also Nicholas Hlobo’s installations and Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin’s work.
Marlene Dumas is a painter whose work cannot leave you indifferent – you may hate it,or love it but I defy anyone not to react to it – luckily I loved it and found inspiration to respond to her work with some poems. Pascale is such an excellent tutor, whom I always find stretches me that bit further and the whole group had by the end produced some arresting poetry. We had our celebration reading the last night at the Tate Modern surrounded by Marlene Dumas’ work. Some of the poems were most moving and personal and all so very different.
On Thursday I am attending Marlene Dumas’ talk at the Tate Modern. This will be so very interesting. I have read a lot about her life, her thoughts… she is a profound writer, too : ‘Sweet Nothings’ by Marlene Dumas (Tate Publishing 2014) and responding with poems to an artist is a very intimate way of relating, making them my own in a simultaneously almost megalomaniac and yet totally humble way. It’s hard to describe – has to be felt… you somehow enter the emotional/intellectual space of the artist’s work and at the same time forge your own result. Which is the lock and which is the key, is an ever-changing creative dynamic.