A text art exhibition

Mike Chavez-Dawson’s Rorschach drawingI’ve always been drawn to artwork that makes use of words. This Friday a new exhibition of poetry and text art exploring concepts of mortality launches in Edinburgh – called The Dark Would.

Exhibition contributors include Fiona Banner, Erica Baum, Caroline Bergvall, Stephen EmmersonAlec Finlay, Steve Giasson, Susan Hiller, Jenny Holzer, Marton Koppany, Richard Long, Tom Phillips, poet Ron Silliman, text poet and curator Tony Trehy, author Carol Watts, conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner and sculptor Richard Wentworth.

Albion by Stephen Emmerson

Albion by Stephen Emmerson

The centrepiece is a hauntingly poignant quilt, devised by experimental arts organisation arthur+martha. The denim quilt bears fragments of the life stories of Manchester’s homeless, embroidered by the people themselves. I love the way it takes anecdotes and memories and transforms them into something that can potentially keep the cold at bay.

arthur+martha photo by Lois Blackburn

arthur+martha quilt – photo by Lois Blackburn

Other highlights include Mike Chavez-Dawson’s Rorschach drawings, made by writing the names of dead poets and then smearing them by folding the paper – you can see a video of him doing it here.

Mike Chavez-Dawson Rorschach drawing

“This is an extraordinary gathering that asks what it is to have a body and to lose it,” says curator Paul Robertson. “Perhaps this is best done by people for whom language is itself a state of in-between-ness… artists who use language and poets who are artists. Here, the material of language is used as a metaphor for human material, our own bodies. Whether poets or homeless people, outsiders or art stars – we all have to find our way through the dark.”

The Dark Would will be on show at Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL, from 7 December – 24th January, with a launch (open to public) from 7pm on Friday 6 December 2013.