Into the Blue

Wes Somerville’s sculpture: “Ancient or future memory of a place I’d like to spend time in’

Community writer and ANA member Jayne Skellett invited writers and artists to two dynamic writing workshops last month. Our playground: the newly-opened ‘Invierno Ardiente’ (Hot Winter) 2018 exhibition in our home town.

I wasn’t sure I should attend this workshop. After all my clients don’t pay me for playful language and I get put on the professional naughty step if my copy veers to purple. Which, unchecked, it does.

But once there, Jayne’s enthusiasm warmed the chilly November evening. “Are you a rock crumbler? Do you see straight circles, can you feel the gentleness of spikes?” she asked us, and went on to show us how we could.

Jayne asked us to pick an artwork that attracted us, and to describe our chosen piece, with synonyms, antonyms, contrasts, oxymorons and antitheses! The diverse and vibrant artworks on show offered exciting possibilities, objects on which to focus and language we could frolic with.

The show’s opening the previous week had been crowded, loud and bright. I’d walked around dazzled by the lights, by faces and voices both familiar and new, by everything that vied for attention with what was on the walls and on the stands.

Now I had the time, space and a mission to pay attention. And so I was drawn to Wes Somerville’s sculpture: “Ancient or future memory of a place I’d like to spend time in.” (Plaster, Perspex, LEDs; 60 x 40 x 23 cm).

On a plain black stand, its luminosity invites. Pure white curves soothe the eye and the sapphire glow through the arched entrance draws you irresistibly inside. I stood there for ages, just bathing my eyes in its tranquillity and simplicity, its gentle light. Like a visit to the hammam, “Ancient or future…” soothes and calms the troubled eye and brain, laying to rest all clamorous impressions and bathing the viewer in a liquid silence.

This is the beginning of a poem I scribbled after the workshop:

I swoosh into your
cooling smoothness,
blueminous pool

and lose myself

Slip into your freeze-flame lake
Like diving through a jewel…

Thanks Wes, for giving my senses a mini-break, and to Jayne Skellett, for creating this delightful workshop.



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