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Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Peter Howson / 20 September 2012

black and white woodcut of a man wearing a coat. He is seen looking at the viewer with a half smile on his face

Peter Howson 'Suspicious Boy', (1994) (woodcut/relief)

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Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail.

This is in response to Peter Howson's 'Suspicious Boy':

A quiet hand
Linked to a screaming heart

The eye
The flotsam gaze
In a savage sea
Of drowned children
Still alive

Art needs to know
Needs to show
The broken mind
Under bright skin 
Needs to dig into the lines
That tears the soul
And show the heart
Coming apart at the dreams.

It needs to know the suspicion,
The hate needed to breathe
Without dying

It needs to know that survival
does not save you
It saves itself

Life cannot be beautiful
Ever again. 


Keywords: art,artist,disability,exhibition,gallery,outsider art,outsider artists,pallant house gallery,poetry