Just contrails passing/ over us, & near/ a blackbird warns

Mod rock birds in the making

We met in Loudwater Studio in Ludlow to work on various kinds of art reflecting the project ‘Loudwater Studio in the Shropshire Hills’.  All these different pieces will form part of a three-dimensional sketchbook recording the visits of Loudwater Studio clients to five different and special places in the Shropshire Hills.
These beautiful birdRed Kite gets wingss are made from paper and Modrock plaster of Paris, with wire for feet.   One of the Vision Homes residents was painting them with her carer, while Julia worked on a huge Red Kite.

Here he is, having his wings fitted.


And below is a shrew thaShrew tilet Julia found, very dead, and which she most resourcefully pressed into a clay block to create this, erm, shrew death mask.


I worked on sorting out the words I’d gathered and tinkered with while we were up at Bury Ditches.


Here’s part of the poem.  I made it into what will become a path winding through the bottom of the Bury Ditches ‘page’ of the three dimensional sketchbook.

Poem Today at Bury Ditches 2








We’ve met a carved Boy/ with a spear &/ under his hand his Dog

Bury Ditches firebowl mid
Lighting the firebowl
Bury Ditches seedheads bw mid
Seedheads on top of Bury Ditches

I spent a day this week with Julia Walling (of Woods for Wellbeing) and Lol Klein (of Loudwater Studio), away up the woods below the Iron Age hillfort of Bury Ditches in Shropshire.

The day was part of a project called ‘Loudwater Studio in the Shropshire Hills’, funded through Shropshire AONB in association with Woods for Wellbeing. Loudwater Studio is part of Vision Homes Association, a charity that supports people with visual impairments and other complex disabilities to lead full and active lives.  So up in the woods with us were very disabled people and their carers, sitting in the sun, listening to the birds, having the clouds described to them, touching oak leaves.

Some of us climbed up to Bury Ditches, still heavily ramparted, with a huge 360 degree view.  Others followed tracks into the woods and I left them picking blackberries, and exclaiming at late butterflies.  We all returned to the firebowl, where Julia was cooking up tasty venison burgers, bought from Andrew Francis’ Butchers in Ludlow, but culled off these very hills by rangers from Shropshire AONB.

Bury Ditches Llew & oak bw
We’ve met a carved Boy/ with a spear &/ under his hand his Dog

I was there to develop some text to add to artworks which Julia, Lol, the clients and their carers are working on back in Loudwater Studio.  So I walked through the woods and up to the hillfort, making notes, listening, watching.

Later this week we’ll all go back to Loudwater Studio to continue making the artwork that documents this latest in a series of outdoor visits to the Shropshire Hills by this special group of people.




Inspiring creativity: Poetry on the Farm

Possibly the Last Post on the Poet on the Farm blog… but hopefully there’s still news to come!

Poet on the Farm

10 Luck's WeightWell, this lovely residency is at an end, at least in its wellies-in-the-midden phase of being actually on the farm and making poetry with people.  Thank you so much, all the staff at Acton Scott, Arts Council England and Shropshire Council, all the poets and visitors – and all of you who’ve read and followed and supported this blog.

I’m really delighted to say that the residency has been featured as a case study on Arts Council England’s website – click here.

And the beautiful photographs taken by Andrew Fusek Peters, and my own poems about Acton Scott, are, we hope, to become a touring exhibition called ‘Luck’s Weight’.

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