Saturday, 25 June 2016

Selection day

On Saturday 25th July the Research Forum gathered to agree the initial tranche of works to pursue with lenders/artists for the exhibition. Over the past 6 months, through discussions and thematic sessions, we had accumulated nearly 300 suggestions.

To get the selection process going, we started by voting for 'must have' works in terms of different themes. We then looked at what the exhibition might look like if filtered by sections of the poem, and also through the lens of art history. We used coloured stickers to mark choices.

As different people's suggestions built up, a core to the exhibition started to emerge. Here are some of the works that people felt were important.

Up until this point works had just been proposed by individual members so it was great to see evidence of how works resonated across the group as a whole; which works people really liked and which felt more peripheral.

In the afternoon, we cross checked our thinking by parking overarching categories/ themes and letting individual works themselves (and links between them) lead our thinking. Working in small groups we started to make connections and pathways between works, grouping works together and formulating ideas about the journey from one work to another.

Photo credits: Jenni Deakin

Monday, 20 June 2016

The TSE Reading Group

Since the start of this year Research Forum member, Dr Ian Jones has been facilitating a monthly TSE reading group. Here's a summary of sessions to date. The group will start up again in September. 

Thursday 21st January: screening of TOM & VIV - a 1994 feature film based on Michael Hastings’ 1984 play of the same name. Starring Willem Dafoe and Miranda Richardson as TSE and his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood.

Thursday 25th February: Readings and discussion from Eliot’s early published poetry, including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Thursday 17th March: Reading and discussion of Gerontion, Portrait of a Lady and Rhapsody on a Windy Night

Thursday 21st April: An informal conversation with Debbie Whitfield, who worked as PA to TSE’s widow Valerie from 2000-2012, and is currently employed by the TSE estate, working on the six volumes of TSE’s letters edited by Christopher Ricks.

Thursday 19th May: A screening and discussion of BBC ARENA programme’s biographical portrait of T S Eliot - directed by Adam Low, with contributions from Valerie Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Jeanette Winterson, Christopher Ricks and Andrew Lloyd-Webber. The programme was first screened in 2009. 

Thursday 16th JuneBy popular request ! An Evening with Old Possum and his Practical Cats. Bring along and share your favourite TSE cat poem.