Thursday 18 October 2018

Thread and Word - A Walk with Shrines 

at The Margate Bookie 

Taking time to reflect with Sonia Overall 

Sonia teaches on the Creative and Professional Writing programme at Canterbury Christchurch University. Sonia writes fiction and poetry and explores experimental creative forms.

Sonia offered us a bell to ring in the Ofrendas and Ofrendas to the four authors and their books.

She also created a processional walk in the shape of a Labyrinth of exactly 100 steps around the War Memorial at Trinity Square in Margate.

This performance as a shrine to Philip Whitely's  book 'Marching on Together'.


Sonia's reflections:

"Finding new ways of expressing and accessing written ideas is crucial to my work. I devour and produce reams of text every day both as a writer, a tutor of creative writing, and a critical reader – and it can be easy to deal with words as just so much information to be processed. Walking with Shrines was a valuable opportunity to take time thinking about, and respond creatively to, the written word.

I use walking in my practice, so bringing books and walking together seems logical. It’s good to be reminded of the physicality of the book too. Creating objects that relate to a writer’s ideas, and placing them in a shrine, forms a tangible link between thought and place.

Philip Whiteley  - 'Marching on Together'

A writer has created a poem or a passage of prose, has summed up ideas in titles or chapter headings, and committed them to the page.

Waling the Labyrinth

It’s an expression of gratitude for the writer’s work, and for the act of reading. With a project like this, it’s also an expression of the communal acts of reading and walking, of sharing the experience of text and relating it to the landscape.

I’m incredibly grateful to Billie for putting this project together; to the Margate Bookie for hosting it; to the generosity of the authors; to Anna, whose film  articulated our ideas so well; and to my fellow walkers for a rich and interesting experience.

 I would strongly recommend responding to books in this way to all readers: when you are moved by a text, take that text for a walk. 

Take the time to make something you can hold in your hands, however simple or ephemeral, which responds to those thoughts. 

Milagros for Elise Valmorbida's 'Madonna of the Mountains"

Your relationship with the text will deepen, and you will have rooted it to the physical world. What better way to celebrate the power of words? "

(Sonia Overall)

Assisting the assisted - Transitions Poetry by Owen Lowery

Relating to the landscape

a small hoard to 'The Hoarder' by Jess Kidd

Images of Ofrendas (offerings ) made by Sonia Overall with some words as she reflects on the process.

With thanks to Anastasia Miller for photography.

A link below. to the video with footage of processional walking and of offerings created to form a liturgy to four books by four authors at The Autumn Bookie in Margate.

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