A poet and painter have joined forces to bring an exciting collaboration of works to Edge Hill University’s Arts Centre.
Showing from 11th to 26th April Manifest: poetry beyond text features collections from Robert Sheppard and Pete Clarke as they bring to life paintings, printmaking and poetic text.
It teases the viewer with overtones of manifestos, of historical references and political activism in its dynamic layout.
Robert, Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University and Peter, MA Course Leader and Principal Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Central Lancashire, have been making work together over the last three years.
Initially Clarke was inspired to make paintings by Sheppard’s poems from his book Twentieth Century Blues. They were then commissioned for a project Poetry Beyond Text: Vision, Text and Cognition, a multi-disciplinary research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
This exhibition will present their continuing collaboration and includes poetic text resembling headlines or titles and fragmented ‘body’ text that is suggestive of Russian Constructivist prints. These historical visual influences interact with a “poetic of increased indeterminacy and discontinuity, the uses of techniques of disruption and of creative linkage” according to Sheppard’s own description of the linguistically innovative Poetry movement in which he has played a notable part.
One of the works on show, Tangled Scree, was composed using images of derelict sites in Liverpool, with respect to the adjective-noun phrases that make up most of the text. The letterpress uses various fonts to try to replicate or dislocate patterns of speech, a structural equivalent for the poems. This work has been shortlisted for the 2013 Adrian Henri Prize.
Joan Steele, Exhibition Curator at Edge Hill University, said: “I’m delighted that these two well-known artists are using their collective ideas to put together an exhibition that looks beyond the text of poetry. It has been a popular exhibition that has toured a number of galleries and festivals including Scotland and France and it’s great to have them show their work on homeland.
“The Arts Centre provides a fantastic venue to showcase our local talent and I’d encourage the public to come along and see this intriguing work for themselves.”
Professor Robert Sheppard is a poet-critic and his successes include Twentieth Century Blues and Warrant Error, an innovative sonnet sequence that appeared from Shearsman in 2009, followed by Berlin Bursts in 2011. A Translated Man is due out later this year.
Pete Clarke makes paintings, prints and installations with the artist Georg Gartz from Cologne, exploring collaborative strategies within contemporary practice questioning individuality, authorship and authenticity in a European context.