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.
What an immense pleasure this was. To have the chance to celebrate Jerome Rothenberg, his influence on me, and on so many people, it was a beautiful night all told.
The event was held at Birkbeck College, London, hosted by the Contemporary Poetics Research Centre (www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc) on October 17th 2016. Organised by the centre's director, Dr. Steve Willey.
For my performance I carefully selected poems taken from Rothenberg's 1974 collection Poland/1931 and 1978 collection Seneca Journal and after much deliberation, I interspersed them with my own poems that responded / related to these works as influences. In the live performance, the poems were glued to paper to form two long poems, and then illustrated. Then for the last few minutes, wonderfully, Jerome joined me in the painting.
I had the pleasure to then spend a day with Jerome and his wife Diane in London and really feel inspired and humbled by their extraordinary lifetime of travelling, writing and following a path any of us would be lucky to follow.
Whale Hunt published by @AnnexeMag is replete with beautiful collage illustrations by @terratrouve pic.twitter.com/JZAHCOGESz
— Steven J Fowler (@stevenjfowler) February 28, 2014
The pamphlet Nick has produced, the 2nd of my vikings series, it a beautiful thing, Im very proud of it and to be in the Annexe family. Tom's reading was far better than mine, it was actually brilliant, blending music with a slide show of his residency in Hull, tracing the flots of a river. He had a wonderful cadence and direction to his reading, one of the best Ive seen him do. My performance I don't know how it went. Maybe I was just laying performativity on top of a reading to avoid being boring. Does all of it work? I don't know. I committed to the idea and people seemed to value it, but they could have been lying. All good, there is something there, something authentic beneath the puff.