Telling the stories of the artefacts, Pick a Painting – Any Painting….

During July-August 2012 Creative Future ran a course at Brighton Museum called ‘Museum Tales’. Run by Liz Bahs, a published poet, course participants, all marginalized writers, produced the following pieces inspired by the Museum’s collection. At the end of the course they performed their work in the Museum galleries. The course will run again in January 2013. For more information check their website.

Creative Future run the creative writing workshops in partnership with Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Museum Tales performance
Museum Tales performance

Pick a Painting – Any Painting….

I slip into the gallery upstairs and lose my footing straight away:

drowning in a pool of paintings on display – all

clamouring for attention – I’m out of my depth.

My head barely clears the engulfing waves of pigment

and composition that lay claim to be admired:

I’m lost for choice, with no ground to stand on.

I don’t want the lady in the bed, just beside the door,

looking provocatively up at whoever’s looking back,

patting the empty space beside her. Too much a mirror.

Nor, Gertler’s Dutch Doll – an artist’s model – with no

distinguishing features of its own – to be manhandled

amidst colourful miscellany: that’s too close to home.

Daunted by paintings at every turn and corner,

I head for the relative haven of Ivon Hitchen’s Forest,

but am assaulted by a daub of yellow taking a flying leap

across the canvas: a paparazzi of paint – a flash of alarm.

I oscillate between waves and vibrations that push my limit

of endurance. I’m gasping for peace and stability.

When did Art get so predatory? And precarious?

I clutch at the straw of Nash’s Granary; the grace of

understatement; the quiet respite of muted tones.

That simple wooden staircase I can grasp, and hold to.

To rise above turbulence and gain a higher view.

I head out of bedlam – one wooden step at a time.

Janina Aza Karpinska

One Response

  1. What a fantastic course and well done to everyone who read. Liz

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