Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Poetic Pen

The wonderful 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland Oregon is hosting a special exhibition called The Poetic Pen. The exhibition is in conjunction with the Calligraphy NorthWest International Calligraphy Conference taking place in Portland from 24 June to 1 July 2012.

I was very excited to be attending my first Conference - over 500 calligraphers attending workshops with some truly amazing and brilliant calligraphic tutors.  It was so hard to choose and nominate a workshop. But in the end, after Barry's recent illness and episodes, we have decided not to try to tackle a long-haul trip to the US in a fortnight's time and I was not feeling good about going on my own and leaving him here. So some lucky person who was on a wait-list now has the chance to participate; so I'm thrilled for them, whilst being a little bit sad for me.

But back to the exhibition.  The Gallery called for works that celebrated calligraphy and poetry and I thought oh well, I might as well enter and see what happens.  I was very excited - like pinch me really - to learn that both pieces I submitted were selected!  They chose 40 works from 140 submissions so I was feeling very chuffed.

I am sending "Artemis" a small book with poetry by Robyn Nugent and "Blackbird" another wee book with poetry by Annie Kerr from Inkhaven.

This is what I said about "Artemis":

Robyn Nugent’s poetry is always spare and often unflinching. I chose a very minimalist representation for the words, but added interest with weight variation. The simple nature of the book enables one to carry a poem in the hand, lightly. 

 And what I wrote about "Blackbird":

Annie Kerr’s words always create such beautiful word-pictures, and the imagery of silver threaded calligraphy, and liquid song as the bird flits through the streets is lovely. This is my own personal heartbeat script, which I think gives a sense of rhythm and movement to the words. This is a very personal format for the book as well—it sits lightly in the hand like a precious object.

Both books will be winging their way across the Pacific Ocean this week, and I look forward to hearing how their visit to the US goes!  For anybody in or around Portland OR the gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from midday to 6.00pm, and the First Friday artist reception is on 6 July 2012. The exhibition runs from 22 June - 29 July 2012.


  1. Both books are lovely pieces that will surely be enjoyed by those lucky enough to visit the exhibition. They beg to be held, and looked at closely. It's such a shame that you won't be attending the conference or visiting the gallery during the exhibition, but at least two small 'pieces' of you will be there...Congratulations! And it's wonderful news that Barry is back home again - may it be for good this time...

  2. Brilliant! Congratulations on having your work in the exhibition.

    Your calligraphy in Blackbird is exquisite. And the broken line is delightful as the blackbird hops across the pages. Huge sigh...

  3. Congratulations Fiona for all your GREAT news!
    The books are beautiful; It's wonderful that they will be seen in this side of the world, and Barry being well on his road to total recovery tops it all!
    Best wishes, love and cheers to both of you!

  4. Congratulations, F on these lovely pieces being accepted and sent on their journey. Such a treat to know they will be enjoyed by a whole new group of people perhaps as yet unacquainted with your work. I think they will speak well for you in your absence!

  5. How wonderful to have both books selected Fiona! Congratulations! And what a generous spirit you have, thinking so kindly of the personwho will take your place. Your chance will come, I'm sure, and it will all work out perfectly.

  6. Thanks Lisa - yes it is still nice to think that two little pieces of me will be there; a great way to think about it! 'Tis good to have Barry home and to see him getting a little bit better each day. Thanks for your wishes.

    Hi Jennifer - thanks! It feels pretty special to have them there I must say, and I'm glad you like the writing...

    Thanks so much Anna - yes some good news is welcome for sure, and I'm pleased to have the chance to show over your way (so to speak). Thanks for your enthusiastic support!

    Many thanks G/TT - a nice idea that they will speak for me...they are pretty much 'me' in style for sure.

    ThanksAmanda - G/TT (above) helped me have that generosity when she posted about opportunities that appear for others from our own 'losses' - like jobs etc. It made good sense to me to think about it that way and made it much less painful I must say! Thanks for your support.

    Thank you Susan...

  7. Hi Fiona. Congratulations!! So pleased that your work was selected for this exhibition and hope you make the trip another time. Thanks for helping my blackbird poem fly across to the USA!

  8. Congratulations Fiona... the work is just perfect. Shame you miss the trip, but other joys abound.

  9. Hi annie - so pleased your words and my work was selected; it is fun to have the words flying there.

    Thanks Jo - yes I am sure I'll cope without the trip - another time perhaps. It's nice to have them accepted all that way over there I must say. Go well.

  10. Your exquisite books will represent you beautifully, Fiona. There will be another time for the Conference, I'm sure, and as Amanda says, you are displaying your very generous spirit in being thrilled for the person who takes your place.

  11. Sending wishes for improving health to Barry. Congratulations on BOTH of your books being selected. A part of you will be in Portland, afterall. (I especially love your lettering in Blackbird.) :)


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