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Vince Laws is a burning poem / 10 July 2010

I’m right in the middle of getting a window installation together and I thought I’d share part of it with you. I’m treating the whole gallery window as my canvas.

On the windowsill there will be a row of old poetry books. I have cut them into letters that spell, I AM A POEM. I used Ezra Pound for the I because he said, “Make it new!” – and I try to oblige. Other poets cut up include TS Eliot, Ted Hughes, ee cummings, blah blah blah.

I like the shapes the books have become, but it wasn’t enough. At first I planned to paint on trees and flowers, almost taking the piss out of poetry – but that’s not my intention at all. I know damaging books hurts some people, myself included, so I wanted the result to be worth it. I wanted the finished piece to work as a poem.

Flames. The burning of the books. It’s like a metaphor on a metaphor. It’s having your cake and eating it – you get to burn the books but watch them burn forever. I painted these flames yesterday and I’m very happy with how it looks. See what you think. Vince

Vince is one of the Norwich Dandies hanging at the Art Studio Gallery, Upper St Giles, Norwich – launch party on Tuesday 13 July from 6.30pm, all welcome, poetry in the street, beer and cake! Runs until 31 July 2010.