This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

Broken vessel. / 4 May 2013

Settling People Like You into the Lighthouse Gallery space was not without problems, compromise and pain, but for me all of that paled into insignificance on discovering that Mirka's beautiful bowl had been damaged somewhere between being wrapped up and packed in Salisbury and being unwrapped in Poole - the day before the exhibition was due to open.

The large chip on its rim is a complete puzzle, and the sadness is pervading.


The bowl was part of a collaborative installation with ceramic artist Mirka Golden-Hann. Mirka had previously worked with words of mine with her students. This time we had worked together on someone else's words and struggled through an emotional journey to create 'Dark Blue World'

We had shared our thoughts, feelings and reactions to the words I had used to interpret the Czech blind man's song into an English poem, and our emotions had dictated the form of bowl. A bowl to be held and turned in your lap as your fingers discovered the sharp little points of Braille spiralling down from its rim. And Mirka had created it.

 


Holding the finished bowl, gazing into its deep, dark blue interior, I was holding a womb that drew me into the vastness of space and time. The pin-points of slip that my fingers discovered were my words, unreadable to me; echoes of the puzzlement and pain in a stranger's blindness.

And now the echo of my own distress at the loss of this beautiful collaborative creation that had so very much to say about courage and humour and loss.

 

Letting go of dreams,

the stuff of courage.

And holding on, that too.

And pretending to be brave,

the getting on with

whatever it takes.

This is what it takes

to smile, to be

and believe,

now.