How Kelvingrove Inspired a Poet | My Glasgow Museums



hand-to-hand total nose-to-nose close you exhale I breathe in my first memories of coming to kelvingrove are of being very small and walking into what felt like a ginormous entrance hall I came here quite a lot with my parents when I was young and I don't really remember the first time exactly but I do remember that sense of there being so much to see and it felt like there was no end to it and that you were just in this kind of magical world where you could see knights in shining armor alongside really beautiful paintings as I've gotten older kelvingrove has come to be a place where I can just have a bit of space and a bit of peace it's become somewhere to escape and relax a little bit and just to get away from the outside world I started writing poetry I think because I had ideas and needed a way to express them really and sometimes the idea will gauge you to what form is right for it and it so happened that it was a sculpture here at Kelvin Grove that went on to influence one of the poems that I wrote this is the sculpture memorial to a marriage by Patricia Cronin and I first saw this at the gallery of modern art in the show exhibition in 2009 it was the biggest exhibition at that time I'd seen em referring to LGBTQ lives and at that time I was still coming to terms with my identity and still exploring that so when I went into the exhibition space and saw the sculpture it really began to mean something to me and it has stuck with me ever since my thought process for writing the poem was first of all LGBT History Month was coming up and I wanted a chance to explore something that was meaningful to me in relation to my identity what really helped me develop the poem was being able to focus in on various details of the sculpture even little tiny things like the little creases in the bed linen that to me indicate this that there's a presence you know when something's as intangible as a feeling what the sculpture really does is is give it a space and a weight that I think was really important when we were thinking about ideas of invisibility and seeing yourself represented so all of that kind of came together knowing that the artist of the sculpture that meant so much to me and no doubt many other people has read my work in response to it was kind of incredible and also something that I never anticipated or really thought would happen it all happened over Twitter one weekend morning and I had replied to someone who had shared the sculpture as a museum object and that they enjoyed and I replied saying oh I'd written a poem about this and kelvingrove picked up an hour online and included Patricia Cronin in the Twitter thread and it just all went from there and then she responded and as this is the world we live in then she followed me and then that becomes one of the best moments which sounds silly but again kind of means something as well I think when your experience isn't necessarily the default experience when you do see something that you can connect with it just has that bit more impact you're creating in a way your own reference points from scratch to tell you the who you are is okay and Patricia's sculpture does that for me it's the morning before the papers they're sleep in your eyes dreaming half whispered words surf along the sunrise we are golden in this embrace forms of grace and patience we love which every law and every land says we do not deserve there's a defiance in the warmth a roar in the whispers edges to the tummy rules and curves of thighs and the heft the permanence of stone or bronze challenges test our mettle if you won't make space we'll make a monument to ourselves

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