Monday, 21 September 2015

A tour of the exhibition

I spent the last week as one of the artists at a community-based arts festival organised by this fine new local organisation, the Southampton Chamber of Arts - here's a tour of the work on display...

Deep in the heart of heritage

Chain-heavy, iron cobra’s caught mid-strike,
Halloween-themed stove spits sparks
from once-discarded engine-parts
and the shepherds’ skull and trident flies
above a split black cat, LED-red-eyed,
cyborg skeleton inside,
guards a charred-black infant, never cried,
dustbin perch, peeled-back hide,
while sharks chit-chat with flamingos
gold-chain style, watercoloured curves
beckon me and sigh, lick fingertips,
turn their faces coyly to one side
to bat their lids at stained-glass poppies,
portraits, skies and symbols back-lit
as the rare cog-headed butterfly
alights upon the pulpit and the chop-shop motorbikes.
Across the aisle, oblongs shine out at me –
images of Tuscan countryside
boardwalk shadows, misted seas,
sunsets, sunrises, winter trees,
way-back-when St. Denys scenes,
and happiness is boxed
by a smirking purple dame,
turquoise feathered hat on top,
looks knowing at a Merlin motor in a frame
and the seasons’ turning burns like flame,
a lyrebird sings angelic strains,
strings strummed and humming on church columns,
piano hammers hung on silent springs
awaken tigers, lilypads and poison frogs,
happy ‘see my bits’ blue dog,
layered skull and octopus,
half-a-Dalek, Ganesh dances,
Hanuman makes mischief on a plinth
and a plus-size waxwork hand
with giant whorls and arches
reaches out to teach us –
what might come of this?
Nothing’s ever lost by asking.

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