POEMS & PLANTS
Creating Pages for A Personal Book of Hours Through Drawing, Making & Reflecting.
A Summer School with Artist, Brigid Collins
This course will be delivered online
Monday 5th – Friday 9th July 2021
Course Fee: £280*
Includes exclusive access to inspiring online tutorial videos and hand-outs, with both group and 1:1 tutorials but also plenty of opportunity for independent working. Not including materials – a recommended list will be provided in advance.
(* Deposit on booking: £50. It may be possible to pay in instalments, please ask)
A Book of Hours forms a bridge between the things of the spirit and the things of the world.
– The Sunday Times (2008)
ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
A Book of Hours was functional prayer book made for the un-ordained and used throughout the medieval era not only to foster devotion but also, to inspire reflection. By offering opportunity for regular moments of pause, the paintings and writings within the pages of these books assisted their owners in attuning to the seasons through the cycles of a day, a week, a year, through a beautiful and personally meaningful intermingling of words and images. Little to do with a clock, the timing of their use was determined by drawing one’s attention to the rhythms of life as reflected in nature, through the setting and rising of the sun and by fostering one’s attunement to the particular patterns of the natural world in general and of plants in particular. Poet John Bennett, writes: “it’s plants that can mend the earth”, each reading of them and the poems they inspire, or are inspired by them doubling as spaces and acts of healing. Taking inspiration from medieval Books of Hours, alongside contemporary artworks such as pages from the Plant Memory series by Victoria Crowe (see below) you will be provided with resources to assist you in gaining confidence in exploring ways in which the tone, shape and language of a poem have the potential to become inspiration for ways in which you pay heed to and go on to make drawn, painted and simple sculptural responses to the form and characteristics of particular plants that you observe in the plant world, uncovering connections between these and spheres of mind and spirit that hold personal meaning for you. Throughout this course, you will be encouraged to work intuitively, whilst being sensitively guided in selecting plants – familiar and unfamiliar, living and pressed – poems and other texts, art materials and techniques (including graphite, charcoal, ink, mono-print, mixed-media, collage and wire) with a view to creating a series of personal ‘pages’ – that may take the form of drawings, paintings, sculptures – of what will become a unique, highly personal and evolving book form.
Beginning by making drawn studies of your chosen plants, in different media, working at your own pace both indoors and ‘en plein air’ you will be carefully guided as you move on to make more sustained responses, also using a variety of media, including colour and in your own time, between online sessions, developing your work in 2D and 3D as you progress through the course. These online sessions will take the form of both lively group and 1:1 discussions and tutorials, using Zoom, alongside video demonstrations of all relevant materials, methods and processes.
As a result of following this course you will significantly develop and deepen your understanding of and sensitivity to the nuanced relationships that are to be found between plants and poems, whilst enjoying the unrivalled pleasure of attuning to, by really heeding the complex and beautiful forms of each.
There is, absent from every garden, a dried flower in a book…
– Jacques Derrida, in Margins of Philosophy
I have to say this course exceeded any expectation I might have had, because it was the best class/workshop/course I’ve ever done in almost 20 years. There was plenty of practical guidance in dealing with various drawing and painting media, time and opportunity to practise each week, and much social interaction as well. Truly wonderful! Thank you so much for devising such a wide-ranging, deep and intense course.
– Audrey, course participant.
A Home Away from Home
Letters of Evacuation A Project with pupils from Abbeyhill Primary School, Edinburgh
In collaboration with The Imperial War Museum at Edinburgh Castle. Funded by The Orcome Trust.