Writing inspired by exercises 1 & 2

A few pieces of work – writing and images – from your colleagues, made during or after the exercises we did in classes 1, 2 and 3.


Angela Parker

A letter in response to Nash’s ‘steps’.

Dear One ,
You remember the three steps we left in a field near the beach at Swanage . Well an artist has bought them and is gong to put them into something by Dante illustrating The Hypocrites. Not got much for them I’m afraid , but they seem quite pleased to be moving on . They are to appear in a plate where the colours are leached out onto the paper  using some form of solvent . It’s an illustration for Canto 23 , Bolgio 6 if you should care to look it up . Make sure he pays , cash would be best I think . His name is Rauschenberg and he is some kind  of American .


Rory O’Driscoll

I am sending you some attachments of two photographs that I took a while ago, influenced by Nash, and exploring the theme of the uncanny.  The two photographs could be presented as a diptych.  There is a playful air to them, I think: the tree should be in the field and the boat should be in the sea.  Who has performed this sleight of hand on us?

Rory_O'Driscoll005 Rory_O'Driscoll006


Gillian Wallington

Sunset at Worth Maltravers, 1937

A giant tadpole with a broken tail:
tentacles curl from its head.
A black bird, heraldic,
turns to look behind.
Beyond them
a green ridged field,
a curve of coastline
and the sun,
deep red and white,
casting two zigzag tracks of blood
Across the still sea.

Nocturnal Landscape, 1938

Three giant pebbles
bloated into boulders –
a heart-shaped peach,
a great stem with a broken bud
and an indented, solid rock
with a phallic arm
that ends in a snake’s head,
jaws open.
To their left
an upright wooden grid,
a square full of squares
framing emptiness.
All cast thick shadows.
Beyond them,
a dark brown shore
where two grey posts
with a ring-shaped stone between
stand upright,
their shadows aslant
and adrift:
and beyond that,
a jagged half moon
and a patch of silver
on a distant slice of sea,
the moon so low
it almost touches the water.
Clouds that are bedsheets
float above the moon –
“Oh whistle and I’ll come to you, my lad”.


Irene Runayker:

A Photo.
cropped to a discrete space.
No boundaries but the frame
No horizons.

It stands. Frail
-straining forward in the grass
-the strength of a skeleton.
Head butting into a future
beyond our sight.

Wind blows the grasses
It has the wind behind It.
It’s future in a space, in a time
-not our own.
tense with repressed motion
Its on the starting blocks.

It does not see us
Truly for It we do not exist
Indifferent to us
We future watchers


3 thoughts on “Writing inspired by exercises 1 & 2”

  1. ‘The Cherry Orchard’

    Paul you

    are a magician

    your fingers your pen

    your brush charcoal pencil

    shape the tracery of trees

    the curve the grace the geometry

    of a winter orchard

    black network of twigs and branches

    snowdrops faint as a breath

    in the foreground:

    stark metal fence

    in honeycomb pattern

    two lines of barbed wire above –

    which should be ugly

    but you stroke them

    into beauty:

    two black birds flying low

    a distant plane above

    hills soft as mist beyond:

    all of it all in balance

    perfect it seems to me

    if that is possible

    here on this earth.

    Gillian Wallington

    1. Thank you for your comment Angela! It was interesting to hear the contrasting views that people had about that picture in last week’s session.

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