Wednesday, March 31, 2010

South Studios : It ALL Rocks

Soooooooo - the auld brain's a bit fritzed since Sunday - so this will be somewhat scrambled.

The image above is my contribution to the DrawErs project mentioned in the previous post. This was painted from scratch last Friday 26th March, between 11am and 5pm at South Studios on a cheapo, flatpack set of drawers from IKEA (which I'd assembled beforehand).

I was heading out to the DLR Poetry Now festival to hear Justin Quinn, Luljeta Lleshanku and Philip Gross read at 6.30, so I had to miss the exhibition and social shenanigans that evening. Which is a bummer. Because there was free beer. And nice people. And good craic. And the Drawers all looked brilliant by the look of things - as you can see here.

BUT! (and its a big one) Poetry Now delivered yet again, with a weekend of striking and diverse voices. Which is why my head is still a-bit-a-babble. Of that particular reading, Philip Gross stood out as a remarkably concise and measured communicator - meticulous, almost hesitant, in the formation of ideas - drawn from the closest inspection of the simplest details of the world, natural and otherwise. Quinn worried me a bit at the outset. Poems about his home turf of Blackrock (the park in particular) felt a bit pedestrian to these ears. He was on better territory when he moved to inner landscapes - more physically immediate than nostalgic - like a great wee poem about being punched in the balls by a four-year-old who states (love this) "that's the Batman way". Striking indeed.

Lleshanaku seemed to have some gem-like ideas coming through, relating to the person and the person-to-person, but her grasp of English wasn't the best (helluvalot better than my Albanian, obviously) and her mic technique combined to let her down a bit - moreso on the poems themselves than when setting context, unfortunately - so most of what I got was fragmentary. So, a fitful start to a smashing festival.

More later - still decompressing.