If you haven’t discovered it yet, Building Text by Manchester-based Elisa Artesero is our latest free art exhibition that’s running until 26 October 2018 across Exchange House atrium, 201 Bishopsgate and Broadgate Tower.
Inspired by 4 October’s National Poetry Day, Broadgate’s art curator, Rosie Glenn, sat down with artist and poet Elisa to discuss the poetry and verses which inspire her text-based artworks.
The Liverpool Poets
“The first poets whose works made a lasting impression on me are known collectively as The Liverpool Poets, a group of three writers (Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten), whose work came to prominence during the Sixties with collections such as The Mersey Sound and The Liverpool Scene."
Creating verse which had a public rather than private voice, the writing was purposely good humoured and popular in tone. Their poetry enabled Elisa to appreciate that not only fun and interesting events, but also poignant and complex emotions, could be expressed by language.
Elisa selects one of her favourite pieces by this group of poets, Love is … by Adrian Henri, because “it addresses the many facets of love in a clear and unpretentious way. When looking at the inspiration behind the structure of my poetry and artwork, the song-like repetition of Henri’s echoing poetry caught my attention immediately.
"I also remember greatly enjoying the way in which the words repeat to form a visual pattern on the page." This is something reflected throughout Elisa's current works, In The Wisdom Of Moonlight and We Fall As Stars, both of which are on display at The Broadgate Tower.
Sylvia Plath and beyond
Elisa is also moved by the pathos within Words by British poet Sylvia Plath, and the impending tragedy evoked by On the Back Of A Photograph by János Pilinszky, a Hungarian poet whose work captures the trauma and upheaval of Europe during the Second World War.
“I’m drawn to poems which are relatively short, containing lines of only one or two words. Often such works convey intense emotion in a sparse and economic framework."
Aiming to capture the essence of her theme, one of Elisa's shortest pieces, The Opacity Of Dreams, is showcased in the window space of 201 Bishopsgate.
Love & light
“On a thematic note, the main areas explored within my written work are love, transience and light alongside the planets and the world of dreams.
My Exchange House artwork, Maze Of Dreams, evokes these sentiments through the repeated verse 'Nothing here but echoes of footsteps that follow the path of dreams'. Of course, Adrian Henri’s Love is … captures many of these ideas, as do other 20th century favourites such as Places We Love by Ivan V Lalić and Delay by Elizabeth Jennings."
Alongside these modern European writers, Elisa also looks to earlier ages and cultures for thematic inspiration. One such poet whose work she returns to again and again is the 12th-century calligrapher Fujiwara No Ietaka, whose enduring and short Everything Must End verse speaks of the very nature of our existence.
Viewings are available 10am-4pm each weekday. To ensure ease of access on arrival please confirm your visit by email to Broadgate's art curator Rosie Glenn (email@example.com).
About the artist
Elisa Artesero (born 1984) is a British artist based in Manchester. She studied English at Exeter University and Interactive Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Recently appointed Associate Lecturer in Interior Architecture and Design at Sheffield Hallam University, Artesero has presented site-specific installations, solo exhibitions and residencies across Europe. She was awarded the Curator’s Choice for Fine Art by Tim Marlow, Director of Arts at London’s Royal Academy, and has been listed for several prestigious prizes including The Darc Awards and Aesthetica Art Prize.
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