This month at Canary Wharf in London, the Le Sorelle river barge will host the Sea Reconnection exhibition (part of the Totally Thames Festival 2021), featuring my poetry and work by the visual artists Darren Hewitt and Miles Taverner.
The exhibition has been in the works for a long time - since 2019, in fact, although I joined the project at a slightly later stage in early 2020. Originally it was planned for spring 2020, but sadly due to COVID, all plans were off. We are delighted that it is finally happening and particularly that we have been able to join the Thames Festival.
Darren Hewitt's paintings are focused on expansive, light-filled seascapes and human interactions with these perspectives, while Miles Taverner uses materials recovered and recycled from the sea to create tactile, colourful, often large-scale pieces.
Several of my poems appear alongside these artworks and bring together the themes of the sea and the Thames. In new works such as 'Great Eastern' and 'Pool of London', I have written about historic connections between London's river and the ocean. 'Great Eastern', below, was inspired by the ship of the same name, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, built at Millwall and eventually destined to lay the first lasting transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866.
At Millwall, an iron hull
like a fallen star.
Brunel with his fierce eyes
fixed on the future.
Grey Atlantic fought and held
the telegraph light.
Great Eastern, a meteor,
ploughed into the night.
The exhibition is free to all and is open every weekend from Friday to Sunday in September - details below. Please come if you can.
Le Sorelle, 1 Thames Quay, Canary Wharf, London E14 9SG
(across from South Quay DLR station)
Fridays and Saturdays 11am to 5pm
Sundays 11am to 3pm