Catalyst – 1st September 7:30-9pm

The cafe at Bank Street Arts has reopened as a poetry/writers/artists cafe.  What this means is that the space is there for people who want to get a cup of tea and find a writing space outside of the house or library.  There are books, poetry clinics and we’re in the process of planning a programme of events.  You can follow what’s going on at the cafe on Twitter @cafebankstreet and on the website

The cafe’s first evening event is CATALYST on Wednesday 1st September, 7:30-9pm.  Free entry.

Catalyst is a new poetry and photography exhibit.  In July, a group of Sheffield poets were invited to come in to Bank Street and write in response to a photography slideshow called Triptych.  The poems that came from this experience were then sent out to another set of photographers.  These photographers were asked to take images in response to the poems.

The phrase “in response” is deliberately vague because it was hoped we could avoid directing the outcomes to some extent, thereby discovering the different ways that artists interact in their work.  Would the poet attempt to describe the image, for example.  Would they choose photographs that lent themselves to imposing a narrative, or allow them to inhabit a character?  Would the photographer want to illustrate the poem; would this chain  reveal a thread from the original set of photographs, or would the individual imaginations of the artists take us so far from Triptych it would be hard to see the relationships between the various stages?

Catalyst presents the three stages together, but doesn’t walk the viewer through these relationships.  We don’t want to tell the viewer what to see.  I hope knowing something about the project will inform the way the viewer approaches the exhibit.  But whether the links are there or not will be for each individual to decide.

On the 1st September, 7:30pm, there will be an opening event with readings from the poets.  There will also be a sound artist performing with us.  Hervé Perez from Sndsukinspook Music will create a sound installation in response to the images and text.  He will also perform live during the readings, creating sound sculptures with the poets voices, rendering them in ways that re-imagine elements of the poem/image in sound.

I hope you can come along to the viewing, and listen to the readings and sound art.  It should be a lot of fun.


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