Wednesday 13 February 2019

Chris Brown - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Chris Brown-Love Token

Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Chris Brown / Words - Rebecca Lowe

Love Potion

Imagine you could bottle it,
The flash of iris,
Dilation of pupils,
Brush of fingertips
Across a table.

Imagine, everywhere you went,
You could scoop it up,
Press it down, quickening:
The flicker of laughter
Down a pavement,
Puckered lip
And shiver of voices.

Imagine you could concoct
A baby’s cry,
Pluck it clean off the sheets,
Pickled and preserved forever,
Or the last, fading corners
Of a smile
At the edge of passing.

What would you do with all that power?
Would you keep it for yourself,
Saved for a special occasion, like a fine wine?
Or glug it down in one sitting,
And to hell with the consequences?

Who’s to say we ever
Knew what to do with Love?
Dynamic as water,
Running through our fingers
Faster than we could gather?

Perhaps it’s safer this way:
Encased in glass
For other fools to master –
The rest of us breaking our fingertips

On the shards they left behind? 

Chris Brown- #unsettledgallery Epping Forest
Chris' potent love token stands proudly on a gate post on one of the underpasses which connect Epping Forest under London's busy roads. The Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, bordering London and Essex and is an Ancient Woodland, one of the few left in London. The sculptor Jacob Epstein lived on the edge of the Forest. Nowadays the Forest is used by dog walkers, mountain bikers, horse and pony riders and picnicking friends and families as well as footballers, bird watchers and runners. I like to imagine all the lovers who might have left their own love tokens in the forest over the centuries. The Forest has also had its share of Bad Pennies reaching up to the present day.Take a walk through the Forest and see if you can find a Love Token or a Bad Penny. 

Chris Brown is an artist and filmmaker. He has worked as an art therapist in the NHS and as a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is currently a freelance clinical supervisor and an editor for ATOL: Art Therapy Online,

Rebecca Lowe is a Wales-based writer, editor and performance poet. She has been featured on BBC Radio 4's Poetry Workshop, and her work has appeared in anthologies including Bristol Poetry Can, Red Poets, Blackheath Countercultural Review, and Three Drops from a Cauldron, an anthology of poetry based on folklore and myth. She also plays hammered dulcimer and zither, which she sometimes incorporates into her performances.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More HERE.

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