The Poet in the Art Gallery
This paper has its origins in a bid made to the Scottish Arts Council and to the British Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to fund the writing of a book of poems about Scottish artists who were influenced in some way by French ones, by French paintings or French culture in a more general sense. Since the AHRC insists that ‘creative writing’ should be conceived of as a form of ‘research’, the case for support stressed the ways in which the various modes of writing about art adopted in the course of the collection’s composition would in themselves form a subject for creative practice and critical reflection. Underlying many of the individual poems’ responses to paintings and other art works, underpinning the decisions taken relating to the overall structure of the collection, there is an implicit meditation on the nature of ‘ekphrasis’ as a form of research and on the relationships between the different forms of discourse deployed in verbal approaches to visual art. This paper will reflect initially on the role of the poet in the art gallery and attempt to reflect explicitly on these concerns taking into account the relationship of poetry to academic discourse, the traditional language of ‘research’.
Keywords: Poetry, Painting
Dr. David Kinloch
Reader in English Studies, English Studies, University of Strathclyde