The Gibson Project

 

A collaboration with composer Stephen Brown based on the poetry of Wilfrid Gibson and Elizabeth Gibson Cheyne including song settings, mixed media artwork and, if a grant application is successful, community project based in Hexham.

The first artwork, in  a series in different media, is a stop-motion animation of the 1914 poem ‘The Tram’ (made using charcoal, chalk, pencil, wax and the Stop Motion app in an iPhone). The music is extracted from Stephen Brown’s song setting and thanks to actor Tim Taylor for the reading. The first concert and exhibition will be in Penzance in 2019.

 

THE TRAM

HUMMING and creaking, the car down the street
Lumbered and lurched through thunderous gloam,
Bearing us, spent and dumb with the heat,
From office and counter and factory home:
Sallow-faced clerks, genteel in black;         5
Girls from the laundries, draggled and dank;
Ruddy-faced laborers slouching slack;
A broken actor, grizzled and lank;
A mother with querulous babe on her lap;
A schoolboy whistling under his breath;         10
An old man crouched in a dreamless nap;
A widow with eyes on the eyes of death;
A priest; a sailor with deep-sea gaze;
A soldier in scarlet with waxed moustache;
A drunken trollop in velvet and lace;         15
All silent in that tense dusk …. when a flash
Of lightning shivered the sultry gloom:
With shattering brattle the whole sky fell
About us, and rapt to a dazzling doom
We glided on in a timeless spell,         20
Unscathed through deluge and flying fire
In a magical chariot of streaming glass,
Cut off from our kind and the world’s desire,
Made one by the awe that had come to pass.

A talk with poet Ira Lightman, based on thero lives and work, was given at Hexham Library on 24th June 2018 (https://www.facebook.com/1555955394700936/posts/1844153085881164/).