Lectureby Wendy Holborow – ‘Work’ Forward Motion, March 18

Venue: John Peek Conference Room, Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham – Lecture starts at 11.00 a.m. Reception from 10.30am.

Please note that there is a change of speaker for this event to that previously advertised.

In 1864, Ford Madox Brown declared that ‘the finished canvas embodies no less than the work of my life.’ He was referring to his painting ‘Work’ which took more than eleven years to complete, eventually aided by regular instalments of money from his patron Thomas Plint. This lecture will look at Ford Madox Brown’s painting ‘Work’ through a collection of poems and a short play. The corona of sonnets in the series, won first place in this Society’s 2016 competition. The poems take many poetic forms such as the sonnets, but also a Mesostic and several open field poems. Much of the narrative is a figment of my imagination, backed up with research on the painting and the social commentary of Victorian England. It has been said that the painting had radical implications by placing the working man at the top, rather than at the bottom of society’s hierarchy of value. I am not an artist in pictures, but in words, as I have said in my poem ‘Our Painter’:

Your lithic patience, work of ethics,
limned – yours and mine in tandem.
I shadow your images
with a translation, an explanation.

Wendy Holborow, winner of The Pre-Raphaelite Society 2016 poetry prize, poet, playwright and story writer. She was born in South Wales, UK, but lived in Greece for fourteen years where she founded and co-edited Poetry Greece. She has won prizes for poetry some of which have appeared in Agenda, Envoi, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, and many others internationally. She was awarded a poetry Mentorship with Literature Wales in 2012 and has just completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Swansea University (with distinction). She was selected as an International Merit Award winner by the Atlanta Review in 2015 and 2016. Poetry Salzburg published her collection After the Silent Phone Call (2015) and An Italian Afternoon from Indigo Dreams is forthcoming this year. The book Work’s Forward Motion, (2017) will be available after the lecture.

For further details relating to the event mentioned above please email info@Pre‑Raphaelitesociety.org.


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