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Poetry

Poetry Open Call – The Court Of Love – Responses to Valentine’s Day

The Court of Love seeks poetry submissions responding to the theme of Valentine’s Day.

The Court of Love is a group exhibition due to take place at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield, from 9th – 18th February 2017. Each of the artists involved will be responding to the theme of Valentine’s Day in whatever manner they wish. The exhibition will include an opening evening and a Valentine’s Day special event.

The exhibition will be themed as a medieval banquet – referencing the first known example of a celebration of love occurring on February 14th, which involved a feast, songs, jousting and indeed poetry. As such, we are devoting an area of the exhibition to the poetry we receive from this open call: Successful poems will be printed and curated within this area and credited accordingly.

We are looking for poetry of any style and you may respond to the theme of Valentine’s Day however you wish. You may wish to reference the medieval theme but this is by no means an obligation.

If you are successful, as well as having your poem included physically within the exhibition, you will also be given the opportunity to read your poem at our Valentine’s Day event and you will be placed in a people’s choice completion, where the public get to vote on their favourite poem. The poem with the most votes will receive £25 and some chocolate. 2nd and 3rd prizes will also receive chocolate.

Please send your entries to Michael Borkowsky at thecourtoflove2016@gmail.com. The closing date is Sunday 29th January 2017. Good luck!

the-court-of-love-poster

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Playing with Poetry

Positioned in between satisfying my crowdfunding rewards and waiting for perfume materials to arrive, I find myself in a brief period of reflection. Able to turn my mind away from the world of perfume briefly, and revisit something initiated last year – finding art in video games.

However, I wish to further my exploration into extracting poetry from video games rather than aping it. And so, I present to you poems creating by taking video game code and isolating parts of it, revealing text:

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The idea remains – to extend the gaming experience into areas that reveal video games as a meaningful cultural force in a way that transcends their original purpose. Using video games as a platform for creative exploration illustrates a rich and full capacity for social, moral and personal comment. And assessing gaming from a fine art platform enriches our experiences with them. It’s a subject a great deal of passion for and something I wish to explore further. Indeed, hopefully at some point next year I’ll be setting up another open call about video games with fellow artist Sharon Mossbeck.

For now though, I’ll content myself with these pieces of work. They’ll both be on display at Arena Gallery, Liverpool, on the 8th and 9th August, along with work by other members of SOUP Collective. So do pop along if you can!


A Departure to the Countryside

Leaving food alone for a bit to think about trees instead.

Landscape. It’s a subject that – like still-life – can be given a bit of a kick up the arse in order to allow it to become relevant in the 21st Century. If we take into account my incessant desire to progress and embrace new artistic direction, it seems appropriate that a departure from food can emerge in the shape of re-considering landscape.

So winter is (Finally) beginning to recede, buds are tentatively emerging from trees and, more noticeably, embalms associated with the spring are beginning to appear: Woodland creatures can now be found on crockery, floral designs began to emerge on garments and as I was walking down the street, I noticed a woman wearing a small acrylic pin badge cut into the shape of a fox. Bearing this in mind, a poem began to form mentally, which regarded the acrylic fox-shaped badge as an object which, despite being lifeless, still retained connotations associated with a fox:

The Acrylic FoxNow, bear with me – there is a point to all this. You see, my initial hunch was that this poem must be related, or relatable, to the notion of re-considering landscape. And upon pondering the relationship between the two some more it hit me – The fox in my poem is of interest because it is removed from nature: It becomes a component; an emblem that, through the medium of plastic acrylic, is able to transcend its surroundings and become a symbol, a fashion statement, an entity that becomes open to subjectivity and abstract thought. The fox is no longer an animal that is merely attempting to survive: It is instead a statue.

Can we apply this to landscape? When the components of landscape are removed from their surroundings, and applied to something else, what are we left with?

I propose that by manipulating these components just enough so that they are to become perfectly usable as paints, whilst still enabling them to retain their intrinsic natural elements, then what you will be left with would be a medium with infinite possibilities which can be applied to a surface and at once represent visually whatever subject an artist wishes, whilst also retaining the subject of landscape: Landscape will still exist – incognito, still and subtle – but embedded within whatever subject the paint is said to render.Paint Made From Soil and Bark (Oil on canvas board)

‘Paint Made From Soil and Bark’ (Oil on canvas board)

So basically, I’m doing what I did with food, only with landscape, except here I am regarding the components of landscape in a richer way. This, in turn, has allowed me to ask critical questions of my food-based practice. Why am I choosing the food I am choosing? Are the components of a meal more important than the end product? Does an audience consider the same food relevant as me? These questions would not have emerged if I did not take a slight departure from food to consider landscape: Therefore, my professional development may have stagnated. This confirms my belief that it is important to embrace whatever challenges come your way: If you don’t, you may end up creating things of no value to an audience.