Tuesday, 1 July 2014

York Curiouser - John Wedgwood Clarke

York Curiouser: The city explored through contemporary art interventions

York Curiouser is an arts project running from 14 June to 7 July, comprising new works from leading artists from around the UK who have been inspired by the rich history of York. The project encourages residents and visitors alike to discover exciting contemporary art in hidden and sometimes surprising parts of York.


I have been helping out by taking some of the promotional photographs earlier in the year and photographing some of the installations during the exhibition period. It has been a great pleasure exploring new corners of the city and seeing the artwork come to life. 
As we are now into the final week of the project, I thought I would write a new post each day showcasing and reflecting on what I've seen.

John Wedgwood Clarke

Dr John Wedgwood Clarke is a Yorkshire-based poet and writer, and is Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hull.

John spent many hours exploring the hidden alleys and corners of York, soaking up the sights and the sounds and the smells and the histories to create a series of short poems and verses that are now dotted around the city for people to find or fall into.

The poems have a common thread of urban history and human interest that ties them together, while the extensive research and exploration that went into them is clearly evident through the strong, location-specific references and imagery.

Visiting the various locations, I was struck by the different personalities each piece seemed to have developed – from the confident and elegant High Petergate, chalked on the flagstones in front of the Minster, to the mischievous whimsy of Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate, to the dirty stencilling among the tagging down Black Horse and Straker’s Passages at the arse-end of Hungate.

I have always been rather dismissive of poetry before, I suppose I’ve never felt quite sure how best to appreciate it, or what makes one poem somehow better than the next one. What I came to understand as I explored and engaged with this series is that there doesn’t have to be a right and a wrong, just an open and curious mind. Some things you’ll like, others less so. Some things will make sense, others less so.

You can find the poems by wandering around York, looking in all the little the nooks and crannies you normally walk past1. You can also read the full series in John’s recently published collection, In Between.





1Or you can get the full map from the York Curiouser website, if you must.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

York Curiouser - John Wedgwood Clarke

York Curiouser: The city explored through contemporary art interventions

York Curiouser is an arts project running from 14 June to 7 July, comprising new works from leading artists from around the UK who have been inspired by the rich history of York. The project encourages residents and visitors alike to discover exciting contemporary art in hidden and sometimes surprising parts of York.


I have been helping out by taking some of the promotional photographs earlier in the year and photographing some of the installations during the exhibition period. It has been a great pleasure exploring new corners of the city and seeing the artwork come to life. 
As we are now into the final week of the project, I thought I would write a new post each day showcasing and reflecting on what I've seen.

John Wedgwood Clarke

Dr John Wedgwood Clarke is a Yorkshire-based poet and writer, and is Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Hull.

John spent many hours exploring the hidden alleys and corners of York, soaking up the sights and the sounds and the smells and the histories to create a series of short poems and verses that are now dotted around the city for people to find or fall into.

The poems have a common thread of urban history and human interest that ties them together, while the extensive research and exploration that went into them is clearly evident through the strong, location-specific references and imagery.

Visiting the various locations, I was struck by the different personalities each piece seemed to have developed – from the confident and elegant High Petergate, chalked on the flagstones in front of the Minster, to the mischievous whimsy of Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate, to the dirty stencilling among the tagging down Black Horse and Straker’s Passages at the arse-end of Hungate.

I have always been rather dismissive of poetry before, I suppose I’ve never felt quite sure how best to appreciate it, or what makes one poem somehow better than the next one. What I came to understand as I explored and engaged with this series is that there doesn’t have to be a right and a wrong, just an open and curious mind. Some things you’ll like, others less so. Some things will make sense, others less so.

You can find the poems by wandering around York, looking in all the little the nooks and crannies you normally walk past1. You can also read the full series in John’s recently published collection, In Between.





1Or you can get the full map from the York Curiouser website, if you must.