I have curated (fancy word for organized) an exhibition entitled Mum Before Me where 12 artists have described aspects of their mother’s life before motherhood. The results are as varied as the artists. Since becoming involved in this project I have had many, often touching, conversations about the women who became our doting or otherwise mothers. Exhibition 24/25 September 2016 www.nunheadarttrail.co.uk
It’s kicking off at the end of the week –Peckham Festival, a celebration of Peckham in its many guises and wealth of talents. My photos of Peckham will grace the walls of the Copeland Gallery. Some, though, will hang at K&K Butchers, a Rye Lane business on the
corner of Choumert Road. These images are titled: Take a Butchers. We have a lot of butcher businesses on Rye Lane and they are distinctive, to say the least. Check out the event at: http://www.peckhamfestival.org/event/reflecting-peckham-take-a-butchers
I went to see William Eggleston’s photos at the National Portrait Gallery. What a treat… many of the images are of the extraordinary in the ordinary. Just my kind of photograph. And with the passage of time how vibrant his photos have become. On my way home, waiting for the bus I took this photo. In the future this will say something of the past.
I have had a poetic weekend. I was a poet at the Poetry Café’s Fourth Friday in Covent Garden. That was great fun. Poets gave us love, rye humour, politics and a nice tale of a gasman. There was music, too, provided by Rattle on the Stovepipe –foot-tappingly good. My poems were about people: some famous, others not and a sprinkling of fictional ones.
One of the poems I read at the Café is published today by www.inksweatandtears.co.uk It is about the time I danced with Viv Stanshall of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Only afterwards did I realise that the man, eccentrically attired in a dressing gown, was the Original Urban Spaceman. What an honour to have danced with him.
I mean why would you live anywhere but Peckham? Yes, I know there are reasons, very good ones, for living elsewhere. But does your street cleaner – I bet they have fancy titles like hygiene directors or refuse managers – look as good as this guy in his pair of comic-book glasses, which he swears he can see out of? I thought not.
A blackboard on Barry Road (Peckham Rye end) is headed ‘before I die I want to…’ Here are some of the wishes
see a puffin… say love you… see the Northern lights (with Amy)… hang out with my dog… (dog’s wish – to catch a squirrel)… make a masterpiece… eat around the world… meet David Attenborough… do well in SATs… witness the end of poverty… enjoy every moment…make my kids proud
The little girl’s wish is to dance. I’m not saying what mine was… and by now it has been rubbed away to make room for other people’s wishes .
I am a Rye Poet. We are a triangle of poets. We live near Peckham Rye, which is one explanation for our name; the other is that our poetry can be wry. Tonight we will perform at the Ivy House, London’s first community pub. The pub was saved from demoliton a few years ago by achieving status as a community asset. That wasn’t the end of the story. The next move was to get the community to cough up the cash to put the business back on its tremulous feet. And it did. We did. Now the pub flourishes as a venue for all kinds of entertainment including evenings of poetry and blues. We’re in the pink!