So, later this month I’ll be embarking upon my very first writer in residence position, which is very exciting indeed! From 23rd - 26th July, I'll spending three days on the Suffolk Coast, hanging out with artists and musicians, and writing poetry inspired by the Museum of Beyond project.
The project is the work of Fran Crowe, an artist I met at last year's Aldeburgh Poetry Festival. Fran’s work is heavily influenced by global ecological concerns, and she works hard to raise awareness of environmental issues. She has spent nearly ten years collecting some of the plastic items from beaches in and around Suffolk, and she uses this rubbish to create a variety of artwork, drawing attention to the problems associated with plastic litter in our oceans.
For her latest project – the Museum of Beyond – Fran has imagined a time in the distance future, when oil and plastics are no longer used but the debris from the twenty-first century continues to wash ashore. What will future generations think about these ancient artifacts? How will they interpret them and, more importantly, how will they use them to understand – or misunderstand – the lives we live now?
Even though there's a serious message at the core of this project, Fran’s work is full of humour, so I’m really looking forward to working at the Museum of Beyond!
The exhibition will be taking place at the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout from Wednesday 23rd July until Sunday 27th July from 10am to 5pm (except on Sunday, when the Lookout opens from 10am to 4pm).
I’ll be in residence at exhibition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, joining Fran and Southwold-based composer and pianist Nathan Williamson to create art, poetry and music inspired by the Museum’s collection.
After a frantic few days of creativity, Nathan and I will be giving ‘work in progress’ performances on Saturday 26th July, to show everyone just what we’ve been up to during our stay! Nathan will also be performing his compositions again on Sunday 27th July.
And, if that wasn't enough, I’ll also be conducting an afternoon of 'poetry games' on Friday 25th July from 2pm until 4pm. Budding poets will be invited to drop in to build their own short poem, write about their favourite piece in the Museum, and add a word or phrase to my Inspiration Board.
But if poetry isn’t your thing, you can get involved in other ways too! New contributions to the Museum are always welcome. All you need to do is bring your object (a plastic ‘beach find’) to Fran at the Lookout at any point during the exhibition. Your artefact could end up as part of the permanent collection!
I’ve been busy over the last few weeks, writing poems and preparing for this residency – I’ve even written a Crisp Packet Poem, so I know I’m on the right track!
For more information on the Museum of Beyond, please visit the website or, better yet, come along to the exhibition! We’d love to see you there!
The Museum of Beyond project is part-funded by Suffolk Coast & Heath Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Sustainable Development Fund, and special thanks also goes to Caroline Wiseman and the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout for supporting the exhibition. All photos courtesy of Fran Crowe at flyintheface.com.