Thursday, 3 July 2014

Lady Grey

Making Memories, Gallery Oldham

Miniature teapots, cups and saucers, made during the project Making Memories

We've been trying a whole series of art and poetry exercises with older people, in response to the objects that might typically be in a reminiscence box - ceramics, old toys, cotton mill photos and so on. The poem in this particular blog was written employing a simple, but effective technique. A single sheet of paper is folded in half and two separate pieces about two contrasting subjects are written into each column. The paper is then opened out and by reading across the opened page, both pieces blend together. Here, we asked people to write their taste impressions in one column and then memories of tea-drinking with their mothers in the other column. 

A poem, written by Reet during this session, gives an idea of how this looks on the page:

Lady Grey

oolong teapot on the hob
in front of fire fruit 
black leaded range
mum had a gentle 

earl grey voice
but heavy-handed (ouch!)
I'm trying to fathom the taste
wonderful hot oxo made me cosy

lapsang souchong safe
my mum the smell is medicine
taste of smoke in the comfort.



These pieces were written quickly and during the distraction of conversation, but they also carry some of the spontaneous charm of that moment and the memories evoked. The poems might be re-edited, reworked, whatever people wish to do with them. The point is that they help distill memory and allow it to be shared - and valued.

For more information about the Making Memories Project please visit arthur-and-martha.blogspot

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