An Invisible Poetry : SJ Fowler - The Poetry Society Cafe Summer Exhibition
July 1st to September 1st 2019
22 Betterton St, London WC2H 9BX, UK Opening Hours 11am to 10pm everyday bar sunday.
A pleasure to have my third solo exhibition in London take on the walls of the Poetry Society in Covent Garden, in their Poetry Cafe. The exhibition brings together new and existing poems, drawing together my explorations in the hand-made since late 2017.
“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”
A note on the installation of An Invisible Poetry : June 30th 2019
It felt not only natural but somewhat selfish of me, in taking on the Poetry Society Cafe space for my exhibition, to split levels, and use the upstairs for my own doodles and downstairs for the serious work of a group show. Those I asked to be a part of that are all singular for the face of their independed minded methods and styles in the visual poetry and poem brut fashion. Patrick, Astra, Karen, Vilde, Simon, Paul and Chris all do their own thing and have come to what some might call innovative methods purposefully, personally and organically. I wanted to bring them together precisely because they are each so unique and individual and characterful in their work. Moreover, they are all lovely humans, a joy to work with, as generous as they are talented.
So it proved on the morning of June 30th, installation day, early on a sunday after the hottest day of the year, when they were not only gracious and kind in the setting of their show, but immensely helpful with my own. They stayed for hours helping me create it, truly. For I am terrible at installations and such things, I rush them and cannot judge spatial meaning without falling into the desire for it to be deliberately messed so viewers think it accidently. The eyes and hands of Astra, Simon, Vilde, Patrick and Imogen made what should have been a chore into a really fun experience. All of this was really underpinned by the hospitality of Michael Sims, of the Poetry Society. He really deserves great praise. He could not have done more to help and facilitate ideas and offer advice. He made me feel my work was welcome in the space, and the institution, which isn’t a small thing.
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
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