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Winning Words at Barnard Castle NeST

February 5, 2012
NeST art gallery, studios, digital hub and cafe

NeST art gallery, studios, digital hub and cafe

I am delighted to announce that Barnard Castle has been chosen as one of seven Beacon Towns for the cultural olympiad’s  Winning Words project.  I am delivering the project from NeST art gallery on behalf of Barnard Castle Vision CIC.

The Winning Words partnership aims to encourage local communities to celebrate 2012 by participating in the creation of poetry installations across the U.K.  To achieve this I am setting up a steering group of representatives from local schools, community and youth groups.  We will be running workshops and competitions to find a winning poem which will be interpreted into a textile installation.

Last year I experimented with a sequence of textile poetry and developed a code for translating letters into colours and knitting word samplers.  The inspiration for this came from ‘les tricoteuses’ in the opening scene of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.  Following his original thread I knitted up the names of my ancestors (not for beheading by Madame Guillotine) into a bookmark shaped piece.

This idea is now being developed as a basis for Barnard Castle’s textile poetry installation which will tour local village halls and community centres before going on permanent display in NeST art gallery.

When I first explored presenting poetry in this way I had no idea that it would lead to such a significant project.  I recall feeling a compulsion to pursue combining poetry with another medium and as my craft skills are limited knitting was the solution.  I am pleased now that I listened to my intuition and went with the flow on this.

I encourage you to discover new ways to present your art or words.  Spend some time considering what creative skills you have and dreaming up innovative combinations.


From → Poetry

  1. It must be wonderful to know that such a substantial creative project has sprung directly from your own creative intuition and endeavour – well done Judith you must be really pleased- sounds amazing – and I love the idea of presenting poetry through knitting.

    • Thanks Avril. It just seemed like a wacky idea that I was impelled to follow through. Am pleased I did. Really excited to see how it turns out on a larger scale. Will make for an interesting collaboration. Judith

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