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Creative Collaborations

March 14, 2012
create an impression, hang together

create an impression, hang together

My top tip for writers this week is to think laterally to come up with creative collaborations.

Combining a wide variety of ‘props’ with constant costume changes is a key feature of the Chinese State Circus performance that I attended at Darlington Civic Theatre last night.  Their Yin Yang production creatively combines male and female performers, stage set, musical accompaniment, dance routines, acrobatic and martial arts in an awe-inspiring show. Once I stopped wondering about how they achieve feats way beyond my physical capabilities, I started to think about collaborations I have been involved in during the past twelve months.

My first ever creative collaboration was with the folk duo who supported a reading of poems from my pamphlet Dances with Sheep last March, I then worked with artist Glen Humphries who produced an art card incorporating one of my poems about The Hub in Redcar before I came up with the idea of combining poetry and knitting for the Winning Words Poetry Project.  During the past few months I have also been working with my daughter Emilie on a set of Haiga cards.

What you may be wondering are Haiga cards?  It is the name for a set of greetings cards inspired by the traditional Japanese art form of Haiga which combines images with haiku verse.  Emilie supplies the digital photos and I write a short verse/modern haiku to accompany them.  The poem is printed on the back of the card so that the inside is blank for personal messages.  These cards are currently being printed by Paul Rea of Red Square Design in Newcastle  Two of our designs will be available from April at NeST gallery, Barnard Castle where they will be launched as part of a new range of cards designed by member artists.

In the meantime I have teamed up with freelance arts development officer Jill Cole to run a Bronze Arts Award for members of Turrets Theatre Group who are working on a performance combining poetry and theatrical skills.  It’s early days yet but it’ll be interesting to see what the young people come up with.  I just hope they don’t expect me to play a part which involves physical contortions.

I don’t know what my next creative collaboration will be but a word of warning to anyone thinking of seeing Yin and Yang.  There is a sequence involving audience participation and you might want to avoid taking to the stage unless your’re feeling particularly fit!


From → Poetry

  1. What a beautiful, thought prokoving blog. You projects sound fascinating and so creative. I was particularly interested to hear of your Winning Words project and look forward to seeing the outcome. Thank you for your participation in our Making a Kindle week-end. wx

    • Hello Wendy. The Kindle weekend was exceptional. I learnt so much in the two days and highly recommend the workshops to other writers thinking of publishing via the Kindle process. Thanks again for all your hard work. Judith.

  2. Fascinating stuff. I love the idea of collaborations also look forward to hearing more about an e -book festival, another of your really creative ideas that you floated past us at the weekend. Thanks for participating Judith it was great to have you on board.

    • Hello Avril. Gillian and I are on the case of setting up an e-book festival. I really enjoyed the Kindle conference weekend and am trying to put your tips into practice before I forget them. I never thought I’d need to become so I.T. literate but I believe that writers must move with the times. Thanks again for all the work you put into delivering the sessions. Judith

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