imageimageThe four weeks of the Graphic Constellations: Visual Poetry & the Properties of Space have cantered by and this morning the show came down – almost one hundred and sixty items (prints, banner, fire drawings, books, foldout poetry, journals, postcards, catalogues, a lumidyne, letraset works, digital videos, letters and more) reinstated into files, portfolio cases, wooden boxes, bubble wrapped and tissue paper surrounded.  I can hardly believe there were in the end so many artefacts in this show and that we managed to combine them together into a shared environment that brought praise from many people who seemed to have a good time looking around the show, both those based within Anglia Ruskin University and the many who came to visit from Cambridge, London, Vienna, Derby, Edinburgh, Chicago, Canterbury and beyond. One of the poignant moments today was the taking down of the Edward Wright banner which has hung sociably from ceiling almost to ground, creating conversations among visitors moving around the room and occasionally, as they have come a bit too close, swinging a little to reveal mobility of paper and lightness of language mutating in response.  I also found emptying the vitrine which contained several Edward Wright works, kindly loaned by his daughter Anna Yandell and Dr Ann Pillar (who has written a great thesis on Wright’s work) rather a difficult thing to do;  having worked hard to develop a series of connections between the works from the Letterpress Block from which Wright created the ‘Star/Star’ poem card for Brighton Festival of Concrete Poetry to the ‘Sticks Stones/Names Bones’ copy of ‘Poor Old Tired Horse’ to the Opening Press folded Poem, ‘Finally A Valentine’,  to Wright’s own copy of ‘Four Sails’ and ‘Frog Pond Plop’.  A great collaborator, Wright’s memory is rightly held in high esteem in Cambridge where he lived in his final years and is remembered with great affection by those who remember him, like painter John Harris, whose comments in the Gallery Visitors Book referenced studying under Wright in Cambridge University Architectural department in the early 1960s before Wright went to Chelsea. Within the process of unearthing which this series of events has encouraged me to do, uncovering aspects of Wright’s work and personality has been particularly pleasing. What Graphic Constellations has attempted and I think managed to do is to provide new experiences of old poetry which like old wine, is still the best.

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