The latest Springlines exhibition has been in the plotting stages for at least two years, so I’m really excited to report that the show opens at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery on 9 June and will run until 14 October.
The town of Tunbridge Wells came into being thanks to the mysterious rusty red chalybeate springs in the area. Lord North first spotted the springs from his carriage en route to London in 1606. He stopped and drank. The iron-rich waters apparently cured his hangover and generally made him feel rather jaunty, and when he told his friends in London they started to visit the springs too… and that was the beginning of it all.
Eleven of Mary Anne’s magnificent paintings are hung at Tunbridge Wells Museum (including the mighty Caballus, who has never looked so completely at home – as though he might just step out of his frame and into the gallery, bringing all the water with him…) alongside fourteen of my poems for the core project.
I have made new work inspired by Tunbridge Wells and nearby sites and these poems are displayed too, with various artworks and fascinating objects (many of them associated with water) which I’ve been allowed to choose from the Museum’s collections.
Enormous thanks to Suzie Plumb and to all at the Museum (particularly Ian Beavis) who have helped us plan this exhibition and mount it. The work has been so enjoyable!
Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, Civic Centre, Mount Pleasant, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1JN. Tel 01892 554171.
The Museum is open 9.30 am – 5 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
On Saturday 9 September I’ll be running a half-day workshop (1-4 pm) at the Museum, focussed on writing about place. Contact the Museum to book. Cost: £35
There is also a ‘Behind the scenes of Springlines‘ guided tour of the exhibition with curator Suzie Plumb at 2 pm on Wednesday 21 June. Free.