Friday 30 August 2019

Julia Manheim - groving / Acts of Resistance


Julia Manheim's small artwork has appeared in Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds today as part of the new groving exhibition. Words come from Kevin Acott.

Read this aloud and as quickly as possible. We don’t have much time.

I want to tell you about this geezer - diamond geezer - drank Double Diamond most of the time this geezer did, at least in photos, you know what I mean? It’s tough right now, I understand that, he says, some of my best friends, many of my fans, are diamonds in the rough too, he says, like you, he says, trust me he says, I’m one of you he says, just trust me, I get what you’re going through, it’s tough - so tough - but I’ll make it all go away, trust me I’ll make it right, I’m one of you, always have been...

On the radio in the USA, they say, when I was still at school, there was a DJ called Dave Diamond (look him up) who was funny and clever and wise and kind, wisely played the fool, and flicked and kicked and twisted words (in a good way), hit his listeners' truth and hope all over the baseball diamond of their shared lives, he was a girl’s best friend was Dave Diamond...

Anyway, back to Double Diamond Man: he drops Latin into his conversations with us and is adamant (get it?) he only lets us know what he knows because he’s one of us, even got a bus once, sits in pubs and - though we all know adamao (the root of the word) means ‘I tame’ or ‘I subdue’ in Greek - he still fools enough of us enough of the time. Diamonds are forever, after all.


Read this next bit more slowly.

1) Did you know diamonds refract?
They deflect the straight path of light.
2) I think we’re all, in essence, blood diamonds. In this time of conflict we sit while he uses us to fund his efforts to make war, to forge ugliness from beauty.
3) We should make Dave Diamond our leader. Before it’s too late.

Kevin Acott 

Julia Manheim's work has encompassed contemporary jewellery, public art projects, sculpture, installation and video. As grove resident artist in July this year, Julia walked through Bury St Edmunds and the discarded objects that she found took on a new life in a beautiful  installation.  See www.quay2c.com/index.php/m2/detail/julia_manheim1

Kevin Acott is a writer, lecturer, whiskey lover, and Spurs sufferer. He’s a sort of left libertarian/sort of anarchist who feels strangely attracted to French chansons, Greenland and Joseph Conrad as he gets older. His own acts of resistance have included wearing socks with ‘Tuesday’ on them on a Thursday and ordering coffee before the starter



Thursday 29 August 2019

Deborah Pipe - groving / Acts of Resistance


Deborah Pipe's miniature monumental relief has found a home in the Abbey Gate.


Horses for Courses

I sit at the back
of beyond.

And, yes,
the horses came

but left again –
as in some mid-century

relief
by Kenneth Armitage,

or reminiscent of
a poem by Edwin Muir –

pre-dating Bill Viola’s
visitors from another world.

This is (clearly) sculpture –
having all the qualities,

all the hall-marks, (hoof marks),
of process

demonstrating the elements
that went into its making –

even more than painting –
more evocative than reality,

as art can be.
Or like Chinese Warriors,

newly discovered,
half buried in earth,

in their own history,
like memory –

the back-end of course –
like the back-end of a horse

disappearing,
8 horses, of course –

the four horsemen
of the Apocalypse

and their doubles
nowhere to be seen –

8 being a nice round number –
arranged in this

marginally
rectangular frieze.

Melting into
(their own) history

of silence, a wall –
as if running away

from life itself,
or something beyond.

Beyond words –
representing mystery –

beyond meaning –
recognising memory

as a dance
or play without

plot or words.
This poem (also)

about leave taking,
about absence,

about images
in the fog of history,

about disappearances
or simply disappearing.

Phil Barrett



Phil Barrett taught art for 27 years, then retired to his home county of Norfolk where he concentrates on writing. He teaches creative writing, in schools and libraries across North Norfolk. He has won prizes and commendations in national competitions, and has been published in anthologies including In Protest: 150 poems for Human Rights (2013), Word Aid Anthologies Did I Tell You? (2010), and Not Only The Dark (2011), the Ink, Sweat and Tears webzine, and Poems in the Waiting Room in 2016 and 2019. In January 2017 he published a book of poems, Writing Me, about growing-up. ​​


Tuesday 27 August 2019

Amilia Graham - groving / Acts of Resistance

Amilia Graham's cast silicone End of Body marks the junction between Northgate Street and Mustow Street. Two writers, Natalie Low and Phil Barrett, have responded to the piece.

Road-Fever
 
I must down to the motorway, to lie on the tarmac stretch
With the willowherb and the groundsel weed and the pinky-purple vetch.
And all I ask is another night with the sound of the engines baying
And the lights’ smear and the horns’ blare and the radios playing.
 
I must down to the roads again, to walk the crazing lines,
And all I ask is to resurrect and stand the fallen signs:
Yellow diamonds, circles of blue and red triangles,
Now-Delphic marks lying beneath ivy’s strangle.
 
I must down to the roads again, to sit in the rusting wrecks,
And long again for the window’s rush of air upon my neck.
And all I ask is the slap of speed, and the road fast disappearing,
And my hands on the wheel as I overtake, and my destination nearing.

​Natalie Low

Stating the bleedin' obvious

That’s a nice car.
That’s a nice car.

That’s an ice car!

Not mini people
know that –
Broom, Broom!

It’s a shadow,
it’s a shadow,

it’s shadow

more substantial
than it is itself.

Can it survive the heat
of Britain in the 21stcentury?
The heat
of a hot summer’s day? –
a nice car like that?

It’s very dinky.
Just right for a drinky?
Just right for a nice drinky
Is it ice for a nice drinky?
Nice for an ice drinky?

I’ll drink to that!

Is it ice
for a reason?
Or ice
for the season?

It’s not ice,
it’s resin.
It’s not nice
it’s resin.

And no longer British
but German –
not British!
that’s germane.

Is it just another thing
that’s melting away?
No longer British –
even by name?

Is it no longer British?
That’s a shame.

It’s like the ghost of itself,
as we are like the ghosts
of what we’ve been.

I’ll drink to that!

​Phil Barrett
Amilia Graham is interested in the way capitalism informs relationships between humans and nature. She works across all different mediums, but is primarily drawn to time-based practices such as writing and film. Her research draws from psychoanalysis, film theory, feminism and Marxism. She has completed a foundation in art and design at Central St Martins and will soon begin a degree in fine art and history of art at Goldsmiths. See www.amiliagraham.uk and Twitter @AmiliaGraham

Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She has published two chapbooks, Dementia (2015) and School Run (2017). She is a regular contributor to CollectConnect exhibitions, both as a writer and artist/maker.

​Phill Barrett 
taught art for 27 years, then retired to his home county of Norfolk where he concentrates on writing. He teaches creative writing, in schools and libraries across North Norfolk. He has won prizes and commendations in national competitions, and has been published in anthologies including In Protest: 150 poems for Human Rights (2013), Word Aid Anthologies Did I Tell You? (2010), and Not Only The Dark (2011), the Ink, Sweat and Tears webzine, and Poems in the Waiting Room in 2016 and 2019. In January 2017 he published a book of poems, Writing Me, about growing-up. ​​

Monday 26 August 2019

Dean Reddick - groving / Acts of Resistance

Dean Reddick's cluster of wasp galls are now nestling amongst climbing stems in the sensory garden in Bury St Edmunds' Abbey Gardens. Each gall contains a message.

Polished up perversions. Acorns awry, these nugget vessels contain secrets.
I've looked her up, you know, the culprit (the hero?) who moves in; redecorates it as her nursery.
This wasp.
Its life is the most extraordinary story involving, time, tactics and co-operation.
She doesn't rush.
Other species are involved as well as the mighty oak's offspring
and two years pass before her goal is achieved.
But she perseveres
and follows the plan nature devised for her. Quietly infiltrating, quietly recruiting,
quietly growing in strength. Biding her time.

Lynn Whitehead



Dean Reddick is an artist and an art therapist. He uses a range of media to make sculptures and drawings, often based on his fascination with birds and trees. He enjoys working collaboratively and is a regular exhibitor at Walthamstow's E17 Art Trail as well as being a co-founder member of the artist cooperative CollectConnect.
See www.deanreddick.blogspot.co.uk


Lynn Whitehead studied at Bretton Hall, and she has worked extensively as an actress/singer in regional theatres, on national and international tours, and at the Edinburgh Festival - with some forays into television and more into radio, which she loves. She has a wealth of experience writing for and running community theatre and singing classes  across all ages and abilities. She also works as a storyteller with RojoArt and has written her first solo show which is  about an 18th Century Midwife. 

Sunday 25 August 2019

Simon Brewster - groving / Acts of Resistance

This Sunday an angel (?) alighted in a cool spot at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds - with temperatures reaching 30 degrees who can blame him. Simon Brewster's miniature sculpture has elicited two quite different responses from writers Natalie Low and Phil Barrett. 

The dissenters’ prayer
Lord,
Let me remember, first, that you desire us to question and it is never wrong to disagree.
You are not pleased when we meekly accept and choke on our doubts.
You are pleased when we examine all sides in coolness and rationality.
To be the advocatus diaboli, to question truth and lies with equal fervour, is honourable and essential.
Fear must never stop me challenging what is wrong, or questioning what is unclear.
Let me embrace my part in squabbles and stand-offs, however big or small.
It may be my fate as a dissenter to be hanged or feted,
And I may grieve that the strongest argument is not always the one best supported by the facts.
Give me the strength to hold to the higher purpose of finding a more robust, universal truth.
I may feel out of step, but everyone in step on a bridge will destroy it, and themselves.
Let me keep a part of difference in my heart, and remember that you put it there.
Amen

Natalie Low



Icarus on Liquorice
 
Here am I, 
sitting on top of the world, 
sitting on top
of a coal black, oil black world.
 
I guess I could just wing it –
an Icarus on Liquorice –
after all it takes all sorts
to make a world.
 
I’ve grown wings,
graceful, natural,
like curved and curling 
feathers or leaves,
of starched fabric.
 
Unlike Icarus 
they weren’t 
cobbled together
from paper, wax and string –
(cobbled 
the unfortunate word).
 
I’ve got purpose, a mission,
sitting here waiting, ready 
to be born again.
 
Not a mid-life crisis;
but a new present; 
like a butterfly, 
this is my moment 
to become
the me I know I am.

But I’m not taking any chances
as I sit here, 
an angel of my own making.
 
I’m my own idea of myself,
sensibly attired –
perhaps I have already become
what I am.
 
Waiting here on this
black cloud, a tub
of liquorice, perhaps a little smug –
I feel comfortable 
about this flying thing.
 
I’ve got all the gear, 
(Oh God, am I   
turning into 
a ventriloquist’s dummy?)
bought from a Biggles 
and Ginger outfitters, 
via correspondence, 
of course.
 
Kept ever since 
in the dressing-up box 
I call a wardrobe 
under the bed,
waiting all these years 
for the right moment 
for an outing. Well, 
I’m well and truly ‘outed’ now, 
flying by the seat of my pants,
but carefully.

Yet these wings 
are the result of
inspiration 
not perspiration –
part organic, part mission – 
to give a gentle dusting 
to the ceiling of the world.

Phil Barrett


Simon Brewster has an MA in Fine Art from Central St Martins College of Art & Design. He exhibits widely, including solo shows at W3 Gallery, Exposure Gallery, Pitzhanger Manor and the Royal Institute in London. This year he has exhibited in Thought Atlas and Cabinet at Espacio Gallery in London. See www.simonbrewsterart.com and Instagram simonbrewster99
Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She has published two chapbooks, Dementia (2015) and School Run (2017). She is a regular contributor to CollectConnect exhibitions, both as a writer and artist/maker. See Instagram nat.low

Phil Barrett 

Saturday 24 August 2019

Alison Carlier - groving / Acts of Resistance



Alison Carlier's piece has found an appropriate home on a window sill at the top end of Guildhall Street. 
As I write this I’m thinking about Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in Memphis, Tennessee. I’m driving down to New Orleans (the Ipswich of Louisiana) tomorrow and I’ve just been reading something Martin Luther King said: that the real opponents of equality, the real defenders of hate and bigotry, are not the racist right but moderate whites ‘who prefer order to justice’. I wonder what he’d make of our big-small British fears here, now? And I wonder how he would pick his way through the swamps of ‘identity’ we find ourselves negotiating, dodging tweeted bullets and tube-carriage abuse as we go?
They want us to be divided into ‘Remoaners’ or ‘Brexshiteers’, to feel one thing or the other, to render the other side unhuman, because they benefit if we do. The narrow, twisted little haters benefit. The clever, clean, privileged liberals benefit. The rest of us are left feeling a kind of resigned despair and try to close our eyes while they loot all the hope from our flooded hearts.

I think somewhere, deep down, we all know the truth: the truth that we each - every single one of us - have Brexity bits and Remainy bits. And that we each have a whole host of bigotries and fears and creepy-crawly darknesses, but just don’t want to admit it. And when they give us a Rubik’s cube and tell us we can easily solve it if only we saw it for the simple child’s game it really is, we believe them...

I nearly voted for Brexit. I nearly voted for Brexit because the EU is undemocratic and unjust, because it sadistically assaulted the Greek people, because it wilfully punished refugees, because it solidifies a fake-liberal, destructive capitalism which benefits - of course! - the few... and because Coca-Cola (oh yes!) sponsored the EU Presidency.

I nearly voted for Brexit because I mistrust those with power, because I mistrust the Clintons as much as I mistrust the Trumps, because I mistrust The Guardian as much as the Express... and because I mistrust the BBC as much as Sky.

I nearly voted for Brexit because the middle-classes didn’t want it, because Crouch End really didn’t want it at all, because I think I probably became a sort-of Socialist as a kid because I envied and admired and wanted to hurt my Mail-reading, sweet and distant Dad... and, I admit, because it’s fun to throw everything up into the air and see where it lands: order, followed by chaos, followed by rebirth.
I didn’t vote for Brexit in the end. Jo Cox was murdered and I realised I just couldn’t do it: and that, if I’m honest, was about as thoughtful and considered as I got as I walked into the booth.

So. Which is the true ‘democratic’ option now, three years on? I’ve no idea. I just know if we don’t acknowledge the devil in ourselves, the Christ in ourselves, the nurse in ourselves, the patient in ourselves, the refugee in ourselves, the border guard in ourselves, the Farage in ourselves, the Jean-Claude Juncker in ourselves... we’re done for.

This isn’t really another plea for unity. It is instead, I think, a plea for us to recognise and value our own individual disunities, to try to love our own order and disorder, our own justices and injustices, for us to celebrate them and to mock them, to let uncertainty seduce us, have its way with us, spill all over us. A desire for order, for certainty is the real enemy of resistance: three years on from my/your act of emotional cross-in-boxing, I’m sure of that.

Kevin Acott

Alison Carlier studied fine art at Surrey Institute of Art & Design and has an MA in Drawing from Wimbledon College of Arts. She went on to win the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2014, the first entry for a sound piece. She has exhibited widely, including at Fratton Festival of Light, Portsmouth; Netpark, Southend on Sea; Aspex, Portsmouth; National Gallery, London. She was awarded the Alexandra Reinhardt Residency and Commission in 2016.

Kevin Acott is a writer, lecturer, whiskey lover, and Spurs sufferer. He’s a sort of left libertarian/sort of anarchist who feels strangely attracted to French chansons, Greenland and Joseph Conrad as he gets older. His own acts of resistance have included wearing socks with ‘Tuesday’ on them on a Thursday and ordering coffee before the starter.

Friday 23 August 2019

Alban Low - groving / Acts of Resistance

A dodgy looking sculpture by Alban Low has been left at the top end of Abbeygate Street today.

drug stub doggy bag
suck it up
suck it in
dollar god
tobacco king
snow queen

Sue Burge



Alban Low is involved in many creative projects including album artwork, publishing chapbooks, making films, maps, conceptual exhibitions, live performance and good old drawing. He is artist-in-residence at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George's University of London. Low spends his evenings in the jazz clubs of London where he captures the exhilaration of live performances in his sketchbook. This year he is working on a walking project about London Musicians from the 1920s-1940s. In 2018 he spent a week at grove with Kevin Acott where they published two chapbooks. See http://albanlow.com

Sue Burge is a North Norfolk based poet and freelance tutor in creative writing and film studies.  Her first collection In the Kingdom of Shadows was published in 2018 alongside her debut pamphlet Lumiere. For more information go to www.sueburge.uk

Thursday 22 August 2019

Julia Manheim - Groving / Acts of Resistance


This morning an innocuous plastic canister appeared on rough ground in St Andrews Street South. Inside Julia Manheim's text reads Resist with Love in the Mist. Sow these seeds on barren ground, water them. Refill this container with seeds and leave it for someone else. 

Love in a Mist

Amy enters ahead of Ryan. She’s holding a small plastic container.

Amy: What's in it then?

Ryan: Seeds.

Amy: That's not much of a proposal thing.

Ryan: Well it's, like, about the future, innit. They're only little dots now, but they will be flowers.

Amy: I don't get it. Why can't I have a diamond ring like other people? You're not even on one knee.

Ryan: I didn't want to do the same as other people. I wanted to be a bit, y'know, quirky. Bit...different.

Amy: This is certainly bloody quirky. How can I show this to the girls at work?

Ryan: See, you plant them, and next year, about when we're...our... y'know, our wedding date, they'll all be lovely blue flowers.

Amy: Fuckin' hell, Ryan. I don't get you.

Ryan: No... (he lets out a wistful sigh).

They stare at each other for a while both occasionally looking at the little plastic pot.

Amy: Can't I have a ring as well?

Ryan: No.

Amy: Just a cheap one?

Ryan: No.

There's a long pause

Amy: In the garden? Plant them in the garden?

He puts his arm around her - exeunt together.

Lynn Whitehead


​Julia Manheim's work has encompassed contemporary jewellery, public art projects, sculpture, installation and video. As grove resident artist in July this year, Julia walked through Bury St Edmunds and the discarded objects that she found took on a new life in a beautiful  installation.  See www.quay2c.com/index.php/m2/detail/julia_manheim1

Lynn Whitehead studied at Bretton Hall, and she has worked extensively as an actress/singer in regional theatres, on national and international tours, and at the Edinburgh Festival - with some forays into television and more into radio, which she loves. She has a wealth of experience writing for and running community theatre and singing classes  across all ages and abilities. She also works as a storyteller with RojoArt and has written her first solo show which is  about an 18th Century Midwife. 

Wednesday 21 August 2019

Bryan Benge - Acts of Resistance


Acts of Resistance​, this year's theme for #groving, continues today with the placing of Bryan Benge's badge in the Buttermarket. 

Bringing home the bacon

​What a drag it is,
not just mum and dad

but the whole family,
needing to pull together

in a sterling effort
to bring home the bacon,

while revolution
flourishes in the house

and on the box –
Liberty leading the people.

We’re all right,
we’re all white,

but revolution
is steadfastly going on

beneath our calm exteriors.
And left out in the cold

we’re like a monument
to our own struggle;

taking back control,
taking back ownership

that’s what we voted for,
but it looks like

we’ll just have to
get on with it,

do it on our own,
with incessant argument

going on inside ‘The House’,
between these four walls.

Phil Barrett


Bryan Benge has exhibited widely, including with the London Group, and recently in In The Dark, The Cello Factory, London; The Art of Caring, St Georges Hospital, London in 2018 and 2019; Penrith Gallery, St Ives; Pulchri Studio, The Hague. He has work in numerous private collections, and in the Tate Gallery Archive. See www.bryanbenge.co.uk

​Phil Barrett taught art for 27 years, then retired to his home county of Norfolk where he concentrates on writing. He teaches creative writing, in schools and libraries across North Norfolk. He has won prizes and commendations in national competitions, and has been published in anthologies including In Protest: 150 poems for Human Rights (2013), Word Aid Anthologies Did I Tell You? (2010), and Not Only The Dark (2011), the Ink, Sweat and Tears webzine, and Poems in the Waiting Room in 2016 and 2019. In January 2017 he published a book of poems, Writing Me, about growing-up. 


Tuesday 20 August 2019

Eskild Beck - Acts of Resistance


This morning Eskild Beck's work was placed at three locations in the town; Abbeygate Street, Moyses Hall Museum and The Traverse. His work ​Diversity is a multiple so that a number of people can take a piece. 


Diversity

Diversity celebrates difference;

    Includes  imperfection,

      Values the various,

         Eccentric, extraordinary;

             Rejoices in rainbows,

                    Sings solidarity,
  
                    I nsists: be

                   T rue to

                   Yoursełf.

Lynda Turbet

I held a most distressing thought last night
In dream I was a crystal bird
Blinded by a pride so bright
Ascend and soar and rise and more
Shine high and never alight
My luck to take a breath of glass
And saved another night of endless flight
Colours awoke my heart beat fast
Your blank doves swallowed by the sun at last

Ed Arantus

Eskild Beck trained in Copenhagen and New York. His work is represented in museums and collections in Denmark, Germany, South Korea, Japan. For interesting exhibitions please see www.starflight.dk, including Kunsthals forårsudstilling, Copenhagen; Den fries Efterårsudstilling,  Copenhagen; Oriel Davies Gallery, Wales; Cubeopen, Manchester; Artinternational, Zurich.


Lynda Turbet observes the world from North Norfolk and tries make sense of it all through writing.

Ed Arantus published his first work in the Censored Zine in 2010 and has exhibited his work ever since at venues like the Contemporary Arts Research Unit in Oxford and the Museum of Futures in Surbiton. Earlier this year he was a writer for the Love Tokens and Bad Pennies exhibition with CollectConnect. See http://edarantus.blogspot.com/, twitter @edarantus

Monday 19 August 2019

Groving - The eve of resistance

Groving launches tomorrow, as the first of seventeen fantastic small artworks is placed on the streets of Bury St Edmunds. Each day the situation of a new artwork will be revealed on this blog; find it, enjoy it, photograph it and post #groving

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Groving Exhibition in Bury St Edmunds

This summer we're teaming up with Barbara Dougan at Grove Projects in Bury St Edmunds. Barbara  contributed to our Love Token's and Bad Pennies exhibition in the Spring of 2019 and she is growing the same format in the fertile arts ground of East Anglia from the 20th August to 5th September.


Groving is a new annual summer exhibition that explores aspects of Bury St Edmunds through specially commissioned works of art placed in public. People who come across the work can enjoy it, leave it for other people to see, or take it home. The theme this year is Acts of Resistance. Writers have been commissioned to write about the artworks, and the project will be documented on the Grove Project Blog and here at CollectConnect. 

Artists exhibiting are Alban Low, Alison Carlier, Amilia Graham, Bryan Benge, Chris Brown, Dean Reddick, Deborah Pipe, Eskild Beck, Jacquie Campbell, Julia Manheim, Sarah Sabin and Simon Brewster. They have made 17 new works of art - each less than 5cm x 5cm - which will be put out on the streets of Bury St Edmunds. The writers Astra Papachristodoulou, Amilia Graham, Ed Arantus, Kevin Acott, Lynda Turbet, Lynn Whitehead, Phil Barrett, Natalie Low, Sue Burge and Tim Welton are responding to the artworks. 

Thursday 8 August 2019

Art of Caring opens at St Pancras Hospital


It was a wonderful evening at the St Pancras Hospital gallery when we launched our fifth ART OF CARING exhibition. A lovely balmy evening brought out a big crowd of art lovers who spilled out into the St Pancras courtyard. The evening was launched by a fantastic passionate speech from St Pancras/CANDI CEO Angela McNab followed by Professor Karen Norman from Kingston University. She presented a well deserved award to the winner of the Art of Caring Writing Competition, Bola Lafe. Then we were treated to fabulous entertainment from Matt Grabham and his magic subterranean violin, Paul Destry with two soul searching blues numbers and our headliner Lucinda Sieger who performed with professional sparkle and joy and captivated our audience with 3 of her key hit songs.

Many thanks to all the artists supporting us who came with family and friends. Reaction to the artwork is strong and positive .Watch out for the premiere of Anna Bowman's new film about the exhibition on our closing night 4/10/19. 

Thank you to the continued support from The Nursing school at Kingston University and Peter Herbert and his team at St Pancras. This is truly a magical exhibition.
If you would like to see a larger selection of photos then follow this link - https://photos.app.goo.gl/19TmbhuMmTXFFvuL8