A note on : An Invisible Poetry : exhibition at Poetry Society

InvisiblePoetryPoster3.png

….so this is pretty great. For the month of July I’ll be presenting a mix of new works made specifically for the Poetry Society Cafe space, including window poems and sculptural pieces, alongside a selection from my five poem brut books. I will also be curating a group show alongside my solo show, as the exhibition space has two floors. Both shows, but especially the group show, will firmly be a part of what I’ve tried to do with Poem Brut as a project - that is to make available ideas and methods of poetry is a way that is liberating and not judgemental to those who perhaps don’t find mess and play so appealing as I.

The Poetry Society, especially Michael Sims, have been hugely generous and supportive, and accommodating, and it bodes well that this summer month can be spent in the space, which is open six days a week, nearly 12 hours a day.

AN INVISIBLE POETRY : JULY 1ST TO JULY 27TH
a new solo show of paint and sculpture poems at The Poetry Society Cafe in Covent Garden 
https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poetry-cafe/exhibitions/future-exhibition/

Logopit_1558820873618.jpg

The Poetry Society Cafe : July 1st to 27th / 22 Betterton St, London WC2H 9BX
Opening Hours 11am to 10pm everyday bar sunday. www.stevenjfowler.com/invisible

"A visual poem should be visible, yet it seems it’s often not so. In this solo exhibition of new painterly poems, SJ Fowler asks questions so manifest they are almost indiscernible. What is in the shape of a letter and what images do words recall? What is the meaning of colour in poetry, and where went the handwritten word? Where is mess, notation, scrawling and material? Why is composition strange to an art-form that is as visual as it is sonic? An Invisible Poetry presents new sculptural poems and original visual literature alongside a selection from Fowler's Poem Brut project and its accompanying series of publications from Hesterglock Press, Stranger Press, ZimZalla and Penteract Press. These are poems exploring handwriting, abstraction, illustration, pansemia, scribbling and scrawling." 

Special View Performance Event - July 8th 2019 : 7pm doors for 7.30pm start. Free entry. & // This is a split exhibition, as in the basement gallery of the Poetry Society I am curating a group show - The Poet's Brut www.poembrut.com/poetrysociety

The Poet’s Brut : A group show with Chris McCabe, Paul Hawkins, Astra Papachristodoulos, Karen Sandhu, Simon Tyrrell, Imogen Reid, Vilde Torset and Patrick Cosgrove www.poembrut.com/poetrysociety

Brand new works exhibited by seven of the UK's most exciting contemporary poets. Poem Brut project has generated over a dozen events since 2017, alongside multiple exhibitions, workshops, conferences, publications and over 1000 submissions to it’s 3am magazine series. It advocates for an artistic creative writing, a visual literature, a concrete poetry - poetry that embraces colour, the handwritten, the composed, the abstract, the scribbled, the noted, the illustrated. Poem Brut affirms the possibilities of the page, the pen, and the pencil (and the crayon) for the poet in a computer age, and celebrates these ideas in the live realm alongside the two dimensional. This group show evidences a new generation of poets working in old traditions often forgotten or nudged into the realm of modern art. http://www.poembrut.com/exhibitions

A note on: Museum of Futures: Scribbling & Scrawling exhibition ends

Another magic engagement with Surbiton's Museum of Futures, a unique community gallery that I've been able to work with through Writers' Centre Kingston and Kingston University. Students, local artists and writers, and those able to travel to the gallery nearby contributed to a brilliant month long exhibition of writing art, aligned with my poem brut project, on the theme of scribbling and scrawling. The work was uniformly good and once more, by taking on the labour of an open submission process, I had the chance to meet a load of talented new people, from Nicole Polonsky to Denise McCullough, there was some real discoveries for me. Moreover my students had the chance to see their work walled for the first time, and help me, significantly, in the curation of the show and it's events.

www.writerscentrekingston.com/futures lots more about the exhibition on the site, as well as the launch event here www.writerscentrekingston.com/making

A note on : Munich with the British Council

IMG_20171122_163833.jpg

A few days in Munich thanks to the hospitality of Elke Ritt and the British Council in Germany, this was a chance to develop a project that I hope will become a significant moment in contemporary British innovative poetry in Europe. Proposed by myself and Chris McCabe, it centres around an exhibition of English Concrete poetry in Munich, that will trace the visual poetry revolution of the 50s through to those making the work on the island now, whom are not greatly well known beyond the UK. It will connect to German vispo too, but vitally, it will show the range of poetic practise that has emanated from visual innovation. From performance, to conceptual work, from kinetic poetry to installation. These few days were spent discussing the idea, touring the beautiful city and meeting some brilliant folk. Discovering the Lyrik Kabinett was a revelation, a library gallery event space, with a really progressive understanding of poetry and art together, and visiting the grand Literaturhaus once again reminded me of what we’re missing, not having these institutions, in the UK. Once again, I’m lucky to be working with the British Council and after this beginning, hopefully this ambitious idea comes to fruition next year. 

A note on : Learning to letterpress for 'Hard to Read' exhibition

Had a grand time at the London Print studio, on the grand union canal no less, learning how to manually work a letterpress and how to turn works into photopolymer plates, in order to create a limited edition run of pansemic poems and new minimalist poems for my upcoming exhibition Hard to Read, at the Rich Mix this December. www.stevenjfowler.com/hardtoread

IMG_20171111_121758.jpg
IMG_20171111_164616.jpg

A note on: Worm Wood exhibition : August 3rd to September 3rd

Worm Wood : an exhibition at Kensal Green Cemetery The Dissenter's Gallery
by Tereza Stehlíková and SJ Fowler - August 3rd to September 3rd

391 Ladbroke Grove. London W10 5AA. Entrance via Cemetery door on Ladbroke Grove or Main Gate during opening hours. Viewings by appointment.

An exhibition of found objects, artefacts., paintings, photographs and a new collaborative film from Czech moving-image artist Tereza Stehlikova and writer SJ Fowler which explores the historic, hidden and idiosyncratic in Kensal Green Cemetery, and its connection to disppeared and ever disappearing London. www.stevenjfowler.com/wormwood
 
Special View : Poetry Reading - August Wed 16th : Doors 7pm : Free Entry
www.theenemiesproject.com/dissenterschapel
Held in the beautiful Dissenter's Chapel, nearly twenty London-based poets will read mostly new works responding to Kensal Green Cemetery with Eley Williams, Fabian Peake, Joe Turrent, Michael Zand, Ariadne Radi Cor, Clover Peake, Adriana Diaz-Enciso, Ahsan Akbar, Alex MacDonald, Lavinia Singer, Richard Scott, Jonathan Mann, Giovanna Coppola, an audio installation performance by Pascal O'Loughlin & more.
 
Special View : Performance Night - August Thurs 24th : Doors 7pm : Free Entry
The exhibition's official special view before closing with screenings, interactive tours and performances, featuring new works in response to the place and themes on display from Gareth Evans, Thomas Duggan, Alexander Kell, Tereza Stehlikova, SJ Fowler and more to be announced. 
 
The exhibition is one of many facets of Worm Wood, a collaboration between the artists begun in 2015 and planned as ongoing with the area’s development. Worm Wood has included a summer long residency at Kensal Green Cemetery Dissenter's Chapel, multiple events, a film and publications.

A note on: new paintings 'Cemetery Portraits' for exhibition

As part of my upcoming collaborative exhibition Worm Wood at Kensal Green Cemetery I'm exhibited a series of new paintings. The series are ostensibly portraits made under the constraint that I can only paint them on site in the Dissenter's Chapel with materials found in the chapel, the catacombs, cemetery stores and in the cemetery grounds. So far they are also of those buried in the cemetery. My upcoming The Poem Brut project has led me to spend lots of time with the work of painter-poets like Asger Jorn, Francois Aubrun and others and they are clearly an influence in these works. 

A note on: Curating the Museum of Futures Visual Poetry Exhibition

I conceived of this exhibition for multiple reasons. The first, I wanted to invest in the place. I've been teaching at Kingston University for a few years and wanted to create a platform in the area, outside of London (just) where those living or studying local felt that not everything was east of them, in the city, that there was some focus on the place as other than a place to visit, but to reside, creatively. Second because I wanted students and faculty from across departments to connect, from across ages and years and practises, and I wanted this to happen in the context of the many brilliant poets and artists who were also not associated with the Uni. Too often we're all in our own boxes, in all things, but especially in the pace of teaching or studying. Thirdly, I had hoped new friendships and collaborative relationships would begin and by placing students work next to those who are ostensibly professionals, that many students would take inspiration from that, would get permission to experiment, to follow their own noses, and that it would as a project show them they could go into spaces beyond the university. This is often a problem too, that students feel too safe at university creatively, and this comes to bear painfully when they graduate. Fourthly I had built some fantastic connections with a specific group of students, both undergraduate and postgraduate whom I felt deserved the opportunity to do something special, or unique certainly, and I knew I could rely on them to help me, to make it a collective enterprise. This proved true. And finally, I wanted the actual aesthetic content of the exhibition to be innovative, to explore the potential of text beyond the book, or the visual to be read as a text. In the end we had 40 works of a really striking standard, the exhibition looks genuinely engaging, original and beautiful.

Museum of Futures themselves, Simon Tyrell and Robin Hutchinson, introduced to me by the brilliant Lucy Furlong, were amazingly supportive, doing great work. Myself and the student co-curators, especially Molly Bergin, Olga Kolesnikova and Matt Navey, had a laugh putting it all together on a windy Wednesday in Surbiton. There is real camaraderie to be found in this kind of project. And the opening night was amazing, gratifying. The room was so full someone feinted. Packed to the gills we listened to a host of new collaborative readings I had commissioned for the night and I got to make new friends as well as seeing some of my favourite people, old friends and talents like Thomas Duggan, Alexander Kell and Camilla Nelson. The readings were great and the sense of community, of purpose and excitement was palpable. A special project all told.

All the reading videos and pictures are, or will be, here www.theenemiesproject.com/futures

A note on: Asemic Exhibition in Minnesota

Asemic Writing: Offline And In The Gallery: an Asemic Writing exhibit at Minnesota Center for Book Arts opens March 10th and runs till May 28th 2017. Curated by Michael Jacobson http://thenewpostliterate.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/asemic-writing-offline-and-in-gallery.html

Featuring Asemic Writing & Book Art from: Tim Gaze, Rosaire Appel, Luigi Serafini, Carlos M. Luis, Israel F Haros Lopez, Paul A Toth, Alain Satié, Jose Parlá, John M. Bennett, Marco Giovenale, Cecil Touchon, Scott Helmes, Derek Beaulieu, Brion Gysin, Satu Kaikkonen, Cheryl Penn, Raymond Queneau, Logan K. Young, Steve McCaffery, Xu Bing, Geof Huth, Gene Kannenberg Jr., Christopher Skinner, Max Ernst, Timothy Ely, Charles Stein, Gazaliel, Lucinda Sherlock, Volodymyr Bilyk, Catherine M. Bennett, Henri Michaux, Spencer Selby, Jim Leftwich, Louise Tournay, Abdourahamane Diarra, Joe Maneri, Michael Jacobson, Robyn Ellenbogen, Donna Maria De Creeft, Marilyn R Rosenberg, Francesco Aprile, Bill Beamer, Nuno De Matos, Lynn Alexander, Tony Burhouse, Scott Ross, Axel Calatayud,  Henry Denander, Jean-christophe Giacottino, Lin Tarczynski, Tom Cassidy, Ricky Brett, Edward Kulemin, Phil Openshaw, Kerri Pullo, Anneke Baeten, Benji Friedman, Laura Ortiz, John McConnochie, Kimm Kiriako, Sam Roxas Chua, Steven J Fowler, Tatiana Roumelioti, Ekaterina Samigulina & Yuli Ilyshchanska, Nico Vassilakis, the unknown author of  The Voynich Manuscript, all the authors & artists in Asemic Magazine, everyone in John Moore William's asemic issue of The Bleed, & including everyone in Paul A. Toth'sALPHA BET A TEST: The Eye Am Eye Asemic Anthology: Language In The Act of Disappearing.

A note on: Museum of Futures Visual Poetry exhibition

Very happy to be curating this exhibition in Surbiton next month. It brings together colleagues at Kingston University from multiple departments, students, alumnus and local professional poets and artists. 

Opening night, with a camarade reading, is February Thursday 23rd. All info here www.theenemiesproject.com/futures

I'm also still taking submission for the exhibition until February 5th www.theenemiesproject.com/opencallfutures

2017 >

2017: Some new books / plays / courses / exhibitions / events for the first half of the year upcoming.

New Publications
 
The Guide to Being Bear Aware : a new poetry collection published by Shearsman Books. Launched at York Literature Festival on March 29th, Kingston Writing School April 5th, Arnolfini in Bristol on April 6th and in London, at Swedenborg Hall in Bloomsbury, on April 11th www.stevenjfowler.com/bearaware

I fear my best work behind me : my debut art book - art brut portraiture, abstract illustration and handwritten poems, published by Stranger Press. May 2017. www.stevenjfowler.com/ifear

Subcritical Tests with Ailbhe Darcy - A full length collaborative collection of poetry and one of the first titles, and the very first poetry book, to be published by Gorse. Summer 2017. www.stevenjfowler.com/subcriticaltests

The Words Moving : poems on cinema - Limited edition poetry collection, each poem responding to a film, from The Devils to Angel Heart, from Salo to Jurassic Park, published by Pyramid Editions. Summer 2017 www.stevenjfowler.com/wordsmoving
 
Theatre

Mayakovsky As part of Rich Mix’s programme exploring the centenary of the Russian Revolution, a new experimental play on Vladimir Mayakovsky. Performed alongside new works by playwrights Petra Freimund, Larry Lynch and others. www.stevenjfowler.com/mayakovsky
 
Courses

Inventing Rauschenberg at Tate Modern - Exploring the life and legacy of Robert Rauschenberg, with a course following his innovative and wide ranging practise connected to the exhibition ongoing. 20 Feb – 20 March - Monday evenings : 18.45–20.45, in the galleries at Tate Modern. Booking here.
 
Exhibitions

Worm Wood with Tereza Stehlikova - A collaborative exhibition at Kensal Green Cemetery Dissenter’s Chapel and Gallery running 100 days from May to September 2017. Featuring new works of video, text art and installation, the exhibition will feature an event programme, including guided walks and workshops, exploring disappearing west London. www.stevenjfowler.com/wormwood 
 
Visual Poetry at Museum of Futures : February 18th to March 5th. A group show of new visual and concrete poetry, text art and avant-garde sculpture, drawing in artists and poets from South West London for the exhibition in Surbiton. http://www.theenemiesproject.com/futures

Curatorial

North x North West Poetry Tour : Visiting six cities across January and February, this tour of collaborative 'Camarade' events will draw in dozens of poets from across the region, endemic of the resurgence of avant-garde and literary poetry in the north of England in the last decade plus. New collaborations between myself and Chris McCabe, Amy Cutler, Nathan Walker & more. Curated with Tom Jenks. Supported by Arts Council England. www.theenemiesproject.com/northwest

Fiender: Swedish Enemies - January 28th at Rich Mix: Free
20 poets present 10 brand new collaborations to celebrate the visit of some of Sweden's, and Europe's most interesting writers. A new collaboration with Aase Berg, alongside poets including Elis Burrau & Holly Corfield Carr, Kathryn Maris & Patrick Mackie, Annie Katchinska & Mark Waldron. Curated with Harry Man. Supported by Arts Council Sweden. www.theenemiesproject.com/fiender

University Camarade II - February 25th at Rich Mix: Free
The University Camarade asks pairs of creative writing students from different Universities in the UK to collaborate on short new works of poetry or text, for performance.  The second event in the series features students from Kingston University, Oxford Brookes, York St John, Kent, Essex, York and Royal Holloway www.theenemiesproject.com/unicamarade

English PEN Modern Literature Festival - April 1st at Rich Mix : Free
30 contemporary UK-based writers present new works in tribute to writers at risk around the world. The festival continues English PEN's relationship with innovative contemporary literature over an extraordinary day. The 2017 festival will feature Denise Riley, Hannah Silva, Sandeep Parmar, Vahni Capildeo, Luke Kennard, Nathan Jones, Tony White, Matthew Welton, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Sasha Dugdale & many others. www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen

Thanks for reading and happy new year, Steven.

A note on: Jerwood Open Forest exhibition opening

A privilege to be part of the 2016 Jerwood Open Forest Exhibition at the Jerwood Space in London, thanks to my collaborator, David Rickard, and the staff at Jerwood, who have all been exceptionally generous in supporting my work.

David was shortlisted earlier this year for the project and invited me then to work with him in producing new texts for his proposal, and as the process of the project moves towards the award being granted, the Jerwood Space hosts an exhibition with representations of the works being proposed by each artist. David created a wholly new work for the exhibition, conceptually connected to the Returnings idea, that saw him source an out of commission memorial bench and gently dissect it into its constituent parts. I then wrote a poem / text responding to this work, a word for each piece of the exhibited bench skeleton. My words are beautifully projected in the gallery against a wall, becoming a kinetic poem, the entire text on loop, revealed over exactly three minutes.

The launch event was lovely, so great to spend time in that space, meet the other artists, and see my work exhibited in a gallery I often visit and admire. David and I also had a chance to appear on Resonance FM talking about our work on the day of the opening. A wonderful collaboration that I hope spawns lots more work with David in the near future.

A note on: Open Forest Exhibition at Jerwood Visual Art

November 2nd to December 11th at Jerwood Visual Arts, London.
171 Union Street. Bankside. SE1 0LN / jerwoodvisualarts.org
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm / Saturday & Sunday 10am – 3pm

I'm pleased to have a newly commissioned text responding to, and collaborating with, the work of artist David Rickard on exhibition at Jerwood Visual Arts as part of their remarkable Open Forest project. The work explores the notion of dissection, the breaking down of things into their component parts and the fragmentation of recollection, all expressed by way of a deconstructed memorial bench. The installation is part of a wider work entitled Returnings www.stevenjfowler.com/returnings

The Jerwood Open Forest exhibition brings together the work of David Rickard and the four other shortlisted artists for 2016, with new bodies of work spanning installation, film, ceramics and performance on display. Jerwood Open Forest is a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Forestry Commission England with the support of Arts Council England. http://jerwoodopenforest.org/

A note on: Rest and Its Discontents exhibition at the Mile End Arts Pavilion

A beautiful job has been done, the exhibition runs until October 31st and is really well worth a visit. Some wonderful and works and installations by some brilliant artists and thinkers. http://hubbubresearch.org/event/rest-discontents/

DATE & TIME 30 September – 30 October 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
VENUE: The Mile End Art Pavilion  Mile End Park, Clinton Road  London, E3 4QY United Kingdom

A note on: Rest and its discontents exhibition at Mile End Art Pavilion

Rest & its discontentsa new exhibition from Hubbub exploring the dynamics of rest, stress, sound, noise, work and mind-wandering. Rest & its discontents explores the dynamics of rest, stress, relaxation, sound, noise, work and mindwandering in an evolving laboratory of moving image, performance, drawing, poetry, data, sound, music and debate.

Rest & its discontents features a video installation of my Soundings project with Wellcome Library. A specially made highlight video, edited by Ed Prosser, shows my works with Maja Jantar, Emma Bennett, Tamarin Norwood and Sharon Gal.

DATE & TIME 30 September – 30 October : 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
VENUE: The Mile End Art Pavilion, Mile End Park, Clinton Road, London, E3 4QY United Kingdom

 

A note on: The Night-Time Economy exhibition & special view in London

A lovely evening celebrating the exhibition Kate Mercer have produced this year, photography and poetry beautifully balanced, after visiting Newport, coming to London, with a good few dozen folk down in the basement gallery of Rich Mix, near Brick Lane, on one of the hottest days of the year. 

Great to have Nia Davies, Ghazal Mosadeq and Marcus Slease read too, all with new works responding to the themes of our work. Visit www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy and www.stevenjfowler.com/nighttimeeconomy

A note on: The Night Time Economy: an exhibition at Rich Mix Gallery - July 18th to 29th

The Night-Time Economy: an exhibition
by Kate Mercer and SJ Fowler in London at Rich Mix Gallery
www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

July 18th to 29th 2016 (Monday - Sunday 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
Address: Rich Mix Cinema & Arts Centre, 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA
Special View - July Tuesday 19th 2016. Readings & performances from SJ Fowler, Nia Davies, Marcus Slease, Vanni Bianconi, Ghazal Mosadeq & others.

A collaborative exhibition of photography and poetry exploring the often fractious energy and environment of Newport, Wales' nightclubs and pubs. Conceived and created in close collaboration between photographer Kate Mercer and poet & artist SJ Fowler, this exhibition will play off the complimentary possibilities for expressive abstraction in both visual and linguistic mediums, all centred around the complexity, energy and intensity of Newport on Friday and Saturday nights.

On July Tuesday 19th there will be a special view and reading from 7pm in the Gallery, which is adjacent to Rich Mix Cafe. For the evening multiple poets will present brand new work responding to the exhibition and its themes. https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/exhibitions/night-time-economy

A detailed description of how the project came to be, by Kate Mercer, can be found here http://katemercer.co.uk/funding-support-by-arts-council-of-wales-the-night-time-economy-with-s-j-fowler/ and an interview with Ben Glover of the Wales Arts Review, which explains further the exhibition and its process can be found here http://www.walesartsreview.org/24536/

The exhibition comes to London after a successful run at The Riverfront Arts Centre in Newport this past April. The poetry in the exhibition will be presented in English and Welsh, the latter translated by Eurig Salisbury. The project is possible thanks to the generous support of Arts Council Wales.

A note on: in the Conceptual Poetics exhibition at Saison Poetry Library

A series of videos from the Enemies project video library have been included in this extraordinary exhibition running at Southbank Centre in London, at the Saison Poetry Library. It includes my performance with Amanda de la Garza and a series of brilliant publishers, who make up the heart of the exhibition, with whom I've been working with for years. A must see, go visit it while you still can! (Photographs of the exhibition below generously provided by Pascal O'Loughlin)

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/conceptual-poetics-1001501

A note on: opening The Night-Time Economy exhibition in Newport, Wales

A wonderful night to open my new exhibition in collaboration with photographer Kate Mercer, we had a lovely crowd come out to the Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport to see readings and discussions. More on the exhibition www.theenemiesproject.com/nighttimeeconomy

Kate has done an incredible job in producing such a beautiful exhibition, the production was really extraordinary, with my poems beautifully framed alongside her wonderful photographs. Good to meet so many friendly local artists and well wishers who came out to support our project, and we managed to fit in three readings as well as a Q&A. A great beginning, the exhibition runs until the end of April and then comes to London, at Rich Mix, in July.