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Poetics of the Archive: Creative Community Engagement with the Bloodaxe Archive

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Irene Brown, Alan Turnbull, Emerita Professor Linda Anderson, Dr Ahren Warner, Dr Tom Schofield, Kate Sweeney, Colette Bryce


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An AHRC funded project - Principal Investigator: Professor Linda Anderson Newcastle UniversityCo-investigators: Professor W.N.Herbert, Newcastle University; Professor Jackie Kay, Newcastle University; Professor Sean O'Brien, Newcastle University; Dr David Kirk, Newcastle University; irene Brown, Newcastle University; Alan Turnbull, Newcastle UniversityCollaborators: Kate Sweeney, film-maker; Ollie Dawson, Director, Poetry School; Neil Astley, Editor, Bloodaxe Books; Richard Price, poet and editor; Alice Quinn, Executive Director, Poetry Society of AmericaDuration: From 2013 to 2015The archive of Bloodaxe Books, newly acquired by Newcastle University, is one of the most extensive and significant poetry archives in the world. The challenge is to unlock its meaning and use by seeing it as more than a scholarly resource, accessible through standard search-based catalogue, and to allow more creative, open-ended and playful interactions with it. These interactions are made possible through a reframing of the traditional idea of an archive, by challenging the notion of search as simply objective and designing new kinds of we interface with the archive. Two research processes underpin the project. One brings together a number of community groups of poets and school groups, who will have access to the physical archive, and who will then participate in (1) producing creative responses to the archive and generating new materials (2) designing new digital interfaces which enable and follow their explorations and thinking about poetry. The second research process brings together a multidisciplinary group of researchers who can forge a new interdisciplinary framework for thinking about literary archives, and about the enabling of creativity through participatory workshops. The project draws on expertise from Computing Science, Archival Studies, English and Creative Writing and Fine Art.

Publication metadata

Artist(s): Brown I, Turnbull A, Anderson L, Warner A, Schofield T, Sweeney K, Bryce C

Publication type: Exhibition

Publication status: Published

Year: 2015

Number of Pieces: 1

Venue: ExLibris Gallery

Location: Newcastle University

Media of Output: Sculpture and video

Notes: Panegryic Panorama is made in contrast to the close focus typically exacted by an archive Panegyric Panorama pulls back, presenting the broader context of the origins of the artefacts. Photographic collages were translated into video, reinstating a sense of physical space and real time. Each scene appears to spin past like an endless slow panning shot in a movie. Presented as back projections onto small spherical glass discs the effect is that of viewing the scenes through a lens, a telescope or a claude glass. The mimesis is meticulous but distanced, immediate yet held in an endless loop of time. Here, conserver within a glass sphere, are the origins of the Bloodaxe Archive.