Artists talking - Clare Whistler

We sent out the books to our artists wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string, the artist's name carefully hand written with our favourite Sheaffer pen. 
None of the artists knew which book they were going to receive, so we asked them to write down their first thoughts on the book and their making process...

From Clare Whistler:
"November 6
Have started the journey to return the book­."

"My notebook has lost the poetry of the first receiving, the first reading, the overwhelment at receiving exactly the right book as I went into the making.

I often have first ideas and immediately saw gold flowers appearing out of the embossed gold cover and knew somehow this would take me through the magic of the title, Flowers of the Mind, and my whole relationship with flowers and poetry.

I read the introduction and this strong high-­minded opinionated woman from the 1800s introduced me to one of those great characters and achievers of of the Victorian age. I got the one biography of Alice Meynell, A Slender Tree, and discovered her life. I felt more people should know of her and see her place as a poet, a critic, a muse (to three well­ known poets), a mother, and feminist. I really felt that as an appreciation of her life and work came with the arrival of the book.

 I took her 'Spirit Of Place' essay on a trip to make a piece in Iceland, and her writing 'Rain' stands on a par with any of the natures writers of today.Spirit of Place has been a title that has accompanied me through many years of working site ­specifically and for explaining how one arrives at 'listening' and teaching about the inspiration of place to create performance.

It felt great to find someone so in tune 100 years ago to what I do now in movement/performance and has led me to my writing myself into place too."

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