A surprise in the woods

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After participating in Christine Valters Painter’s “Awakening The Creative Spirit” in Perth, Scotland in 2017, (written about here) I became enthralled by the idea of gifting another installation of Pop-up’s. I contacted Betsey Beckman, Christine’s co-facilitator, and together we connected the dots to make it happen long distance.

This time I illuminated my poetry excerpts with colourful graphics, like Japanese block cuts, and sent them in the mail to Betsey, who carried them with her over the ocean to Perth, Scotland for their June 2018 retreat.

Early one morning, the support team went out and installed my poems in various places on the property at The Bield, to be discovered by retreatants over the course of the day. The results were serendipitous, joyful, and created a stir overall. Here are some photographs of the pop-up-poem placement and discovery.

Thanks and love to Christine and Betsey for allowing me to offer my gift again.

Don’t fence me in

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We knew it was coming, first the move out, then the move on, then the moving in of the hazmat team, proceeded by fences and followed by bulldozers. We knew it. We prepared. We celebrated. We left our mark on the building face like it has made a mark in our hearts.

So, today wasn’t a surprise, but still it felt surprising to see the doorway fenced off, the new art and words from a distance, and my heart feeling a little heave-ho because this was it. We have not gone anywhere, and we are determined to stay close and hold out hope to the homeless and vulnerable and disenfranchised for as long as it takes. Still, this was our home of several years. This is where people dropped in and stayed and sat around a little table and wrote poems and then shared them. This is where first words were uttered, where he finally spoke to me, where she smiled and invited me into a conversation.

All I can do today is continue to remember, take a few more pictures, and then, because they were already waiting in the back of my truck and because I was recently told to “do what I can” and I brought what I had…a pop-up happened. A few of my poems hanging like little prayer flags on the moduloc fence, waving goodbye.

Believing in what is to come…what can never be fenced in,

Lesley-Anne

p.s. and just so I have to chuckle rather than cry, I notice in one of the pictures a typo on a poem…and recognize even in a simple little installation there is room to be imperfect and humbled.

p.p.s. soon we will be launching our Metro HOLDINGOUTHOPE campaign. And the stories, oh the stories…

 

Location, location, location

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It appears that art installations, like real estate, may be all about location, location, location. After the fiasco of vandalized art earlier last week, I intentionally returned to the same site, but a slightly different location. Rather than the quiet north side parkway, I chose a location directly adjacent to the front door of our Aquatic Centre H2O. While my daughter worked out, I installed lights and poetry and stood back all spy like and watched what happened.

Within 15 minutes all 20 copies of my poem and as many tea lights were taken by an interesting variety of people. I overheard joy, gratitude, questions and comments that affirmed what I was doing. The most energetic and positive being a group of tween girls with their enthusiastic YMCA leader who said “Look, this is a random act of kindness (RAK) which lines up completely with what we are doing tonight! Let’s take a poem back and copy it and share it with everyone.” I hadn’t thought of PUP as RAK before. Yes, I was standing fairly close by to hear all this! I also saw people take selfies with the installation. Yep.

The funniest comment was from a boy who was very excited until he saw “They aren’t real candles!!!” Then I returned to my car and received a sticky under my wiper blade. It said “you are special in many ways 🙂 🙂 “ I think it was placed there by those very same happy tween girls! So undeserved, so personal, so WOW.

I want to thank each one of you who spoke kindly and affirmatively when I was feeling hurt about the vandalism. Thank you for your reminders to rally on and not let the darkness win. You know who you are. You are my light.
LA

Random PUP photos, found on my phone

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A reminder that I really am really out there, even a little more than I remember. I’m out there with illumination installs in the dark of December, development commentary for the land behind our home, poetry tucked into library books, little lights and poems for my neighbours, and various installations in public places including readings.

Reminds me it’s time to get out there again.