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Textile/poetry installation

You are invited to attend a Celebration Event at NeST gallery in Barnard Castle on Thursday 4th October at 7p.m. The evening is a celebration of the Winning Words Beacon Town project. Anne Dauber, winner of the open poetry competition will read her poem the Great Grey Barn which inspired production of the community art installation. Textile artist Lone Helliwell will talk about the creation of the final piece, which will be on show at the gallery from the 4th to the 14th October. It will then commence a tour around the region. Tour details and legacy postcards will be available from the gallery as of the 4th October.

Other items on the agenda include presentation of Special Edition Bronze Arts Awards badges and certificates to members of Turrets Youth Theatre Group who submitted poetry/drama portfolios during 2012. The presentation will be made by Barnard Castle Vision CIC director Deborah Jenkins.

Following a break for refreshments we plan to play a recording of Ian MacMillan reading the Renga Relay which has been created by schools and libraries during the past 3 months.

The evening will end with a performance of haiku and tanka poetry by members of Bennett House Writers from Darlington. Copies of their new anthology will be on sale during the evening in addition to the range of pamphlets already available from the gallery.

This is a free event but we would be grateful if you could confirm attendance by e-mailing or phone project lead Judith Lesley Marshall on 07808 063944.











Olympic Shape Poetry

It was good to see poetry and literature feature in both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Olympics. As the Crown Street library summer writing sessions come to a close we looked at the shapes hidden within photographs of Olympic events.  Circles, triangles and rectangles were the most common – in the rings, medals, clocks, torch, flames, and flags.

Participants selected one of these shapes and mindstormed lists of  words associated it.  Words were both themed and non-themed around sports. The circle proved to be the most inspirational shape to work with. Once the young people had gathered their lists of words, they shaped them into poems, then collaged them in a variety of ways as demonstrated in the photograph. One young lady set herself the challenge of creating a story cube out of her poem so that the lines are read out as numbers would be on the roll of a dice. I believe dad is helping with the final construction of that piece.

Poppy wrote Silver Glory

Shining bright

day and night

a silver disc

not the moon

throwing out light

around your neck.

The triangle shape reminded me of the Poetry Pod installations that are touring selected coastal locations around the country:

They sit in the field

waiting for nightfall.

As the sun dips

below the horizon

lights come on within.

Dimmed at first,

then brighter and brighter

until the field look like

ten thousand fireflies

have landed for the night.

Hopefully the work we have been doing with young people during this project will have ignited their creative sparks.

I look forward to hearing the final version of the Renga Relay which has been touring primary schools and libraries in the region, and to the presentation of Special Edition Bronze Arts Awards to young people of secondary school age who completed poetry/theatre portfolios as part of the Winning Words project. These are two of the items planned for a Celebration Evening at NeST on National Poetry Day.

Gallery Image 1 from J.T. Kell


NeST gallery is looking for a textile artist to become involved in the Winning Words project that they are delivering on behalf of Barnard Castle Vision CIC.


Barnard Castle is one of the seven beacon towns for the cultural Olympics.

We are looking for artists to respond to the idea of interpreting the winning poem from the Open Poetry Competition into a 20″ x 20″ picture style art installation.

We welcome proposals from artists working in wool or textiles.  Artists are invited to draw inspiration for the art work from Barnard Castle’s history of sheep farming and textile production.  Where possible we would like artists to engage with the local wool shop and craft groups to design an installation which also reflects the Winning Words ethos of ‘carpeting the nation’ with poetry.

Please submit a proposal to deliver within a budget of £1,500.00, an artist’s statement with web links , if available, and up to five high resolution images to by Monday 30th April 2012.

Judith, who is the lead for this project, will be available to talk with interested artists during the Flower Power preview evening at the gallery, 25 Newgate, Barnard Castle, DL12 8NG on Sunday 22nd April from 4-6p.m.

The successful artist will be engaged from June to September.  The installation will be launched with legacy postcards at a celebration event linked to National Poetry Day in October.  It will tour local village halls and community spaces before going on permanent display at NeST.

For further details about Winning Words see previous posts on this blog or