I helped construct the Olympic Site, tell the story of the Greatest Show on earth, and am on site for the Legacy build until 2014.

This is my View of what's going on. These Views are mine and not of my employer or the LLDC/ODA/LOCOG

I was one of the Official BT’s Storytellers for London 2012 .

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

New Lemn Sissay exhibition, first Olympic poet commissioned for London 2012

The final exhibition as part of View Tube Art’s Sparked series sees renowned poet and playwright Lemn Sissay showcase his poem Spark Catchers. As part of Winning Words, Lemn was the first poet of five commissioned to write new poems for permanent installations on the Olympic Park, and was inspired by the history of the site.  Spark Catchers is a striking poem referencing the pioneering industrial action which took place at the Bryant and May match factory, which still exists today on the edge of the Park in Bow, East London, near where he lives. 

Sparked is a series of exhibitions and free family art workshops as part of the View Tube Art programme, funded by The Legacy List, celebrating and raising awareness of the Art in the Park commissions from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

Photo: Bryant and May match factory, Bow, East London. Photo, Emma Crouch 2012 Spark Catchers delves into the incendiary time in 19th century Britain when the first un-unionised workers went on strike against their poor and dangerous working conditions. The industrial action taken at the match factory helped spark a social revolution changing working conditions across Britain.  The exhibition celebrates this inspirational story and East London’s rich heritage as it welcomes the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, becoming another landmark in its captivating history

“The Olympic Games reflect who we are.  It seems natural that our story, our struggles and our victories as nations of the world are exemplified within and around this peerless event.  This is what my exhibition is about.  The flame of the Olympic Torch is a beacon of hope. It is made of fire. The matchmaker girls made fire and were made of fire!  It is that energy that I want to display.  We are a torch, a beacon of hope and we are full of fire”.

Lemn Sissay       
Exhibition dates: 30 March – 16 May 2012 (free)
Family day date: Saturday 14 April, 10am-3pm (free)

A free family day of art workshops inspired by the Sparked exhibition takes place at View Tube.  Learn print making skills to respond to Spark Catchers and the exhibition, creating artwork for a public display at View Tube.

Plus talks and presentations about the parks past and present from Field Studies Council and Museum of London Docklands. 

Art workshop times: 10.30am-12pm or 1-2.30pm

Limited spaces available so email info@theviewtube.co.uk to book art workshop spaces and find out more. 

Follow the project on its dedicated blog at  www.viewtubesparked.tumblr.com , let us know what you think on www.facebook.com/theviewtube  or on twitter @theviewtube using #VTSparked

New Lemn Sissay exhibition, first Olympic poet commissioned for London 2012

Lemn Sissay
Lemn is associate artist at London’s Southbank Centre and an honorary Doctor of Letters. Lemn received an MBE from the Queen for Services to Literature.  He is the author of five collections of poetry, and reads his poems on stages throughout the world.  He has written plays for stage and radio. He is the inspiration behind a concerto at the BBC Proms.  Other projects include Poems as Landmarks, uniquely engaging readers in their environment through words in public spaces.  Landmark poems are displayed throughout Manchester and London, adorning the Royal Festival Hall and Shudehill Station.   He is the inspiration behind Global Poetry System (GPS), an interactive site where poems in public spaces are recorded via an online map, and is patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation. He is trustee of World Book Night and Forward Arts Foundation.

Winning Words – Poetry in the Park
As part of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s Art in the Park programme, Winning Words’ is a nationwide programme to link poetry and sport on the occasion of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
There are a total of five new poems commissioned from renowned contemporary poets; Lemn Sissay, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, John Burnside, Caroline Bird and Jo Shapcott.  These poems will be housed as permanent installations on the Olympic Park, whilst a sixth installation is the last line of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Ulysses.
You can read all poems at www.winningwordspoetry.com

About Sparked
Inspired by Art in the Park, the Olympic Delivery Authority delivered programme of integrated public art commissions across the Olympic Park, Sparked is an exhibition series as part of the View Tube Art programme until May 2012.
Working with acclaimed local, national and international artists who have been commissioned in the park over the past three years, Sparked raises awareness of the Art in the Park commissions through imaginative exhibitions and interactive installations. Alongside the exhibition is a free opportunity to learn a new creative skill at our family days, and observational worksheets are available for all visitors to the View Tube.
Sparked is supported by Bow Arts and funded by The Legacy List, a new charity established to support the long term cultural, social and physical regeneration of London’s future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its surroundings.

About View Tube
View Tube is a community venue with an integrated arts programme, situated on the Greenway right next to the Olympic Park, with a café, exhibitions, education classroom, community garden and bike hire.  We see over 10,000 visitors and 600 children through the classroom each month as people from London, the UK and the world come to see the Olympic Park take shape.
View Tube Art has successfully run many exhibitions from both internationally renowned and local artists, such as Gavin Turk, Faisal Abdu’Allah and Colin Priest.  For more information, please see www.theviewtube.co.uk

About Legacy List (funders)

The Legacy List is a new charity established to support the long term cultural, social and physical regeneration of London's future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its
surroundings. The charity will facilitate, find and fund places, programmes and partnerships, which actively engage people in the transformation of the park and
their own lives. The focus will be on arts and culture, education and skills.

For more information, please see  www.thelegacylist.org.uk  

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