Alma Tischlerwood’s ALICE launch: 1 June, in Kearsney Abbey

Art in the Park: Kearsney interpreted

Alma Tischlerwood’s artwork ALICE  is a new social and sensory space in Kearsney Abbey. ALICE is intended for contemplation, for sitting for picnics or yoga for example as well as a performance space.

This beautiful interactive sculpture was launched with a programme of poetry, music, standup and refreshment.

Most of the poems were written  for the Park Bench project and included in the  ‘Park Bench’ video.  June 1st turned out to be one of the most beautiful days of this year, perfect for the wonderful picnic of sandwiches and strawberries and cream provided by The Allotment restaurant in Dover, run by Victoria Pasquino herself an artist who took part in the Park Bench project.

Guests and performers gathered at the ALICE SCULPTURE at 3pm.

Programme

Paul Cheneour blew the event off to a vibrant start on his Zorna*

Anita Sedgewick from Dover District Council, who heads the Art in the Park – Kearsney Interpreted  delivery team with Dover Arts Development, talked about the aims and ambitions of the project that included the Park Bench Project and ten artist residencies of which ALICE is one. She thanked Alma for ALICE, as well as Rob Hedley Dray and volunteers Chris and John Wood for their work with the construction of ALICE.

DAD director, Joanna Jones, spoke of how fantastic it feels when an idea hatched over 18 months ago actually happens – with poets collecting and reciting around Alma’s ALICE sculpture – a tree with a view – now realised in Kearsney Abbey.  She thanked Anita Sedgewick for all her hard work and resilience, and for following all the twists and turns that such a commission encounters on its journey. She thanked Elouise from planning, Steve from health and safety, Rod from building control, Martin Leggat and Roger Walton as well as the wider Kearsney park team for their support.

Joanna said that DAD and DDC were so delighted that Paul Cheneour and Emilee Piggott, reading her grandfather’s poem, were able to be part of the launch programme as well as all the sondlines poets – Jo Field, Jeffrey Loffman, Gary Studley, Trevor Breedon and Robert Marsh. The line up included Nicola Dunsbee and Chevonne Lane, both of whom had received a poetry commission as part of the Park Bench project, and two of Dover’s most active and prolific poets, Simon Partridge, who had written works especially for ALICE, and Paul Dagys who brought his guitar to accompany the ‘Sad legend of Mary Brown‘. She also drew attention to John Wood who performed his ‘Roundabout‘ at the end of the programme plus a surprise ‘metaphysical‘ standup offering, as the Very Reverend Max Ripple and his lodger, ‘Bob’.

The afternoon was a wonderful culmination of a long and dedicated journey. As Alma, the artist, told the audience, “it is so nice that ALICE is no longer a building site and that people from Kearsney and beyond are already starting to find their own uses for it”.

Readings

  1. Alma Tischlerwood, ‘Alice’  by Simon Partridge
  2. Chevonne Lane, ‘Alone in the Woods’
  3. John Fuller, ‘The Abbey’, read by his granddaughter Emilee Piggott
  4. Jo Field, ‘Directions of the life-preserver’
  5. Jeffrey Loffman, ‘Watercress in Kearsney’
  6. Paul Dagys, ‘Secret Places
  7. Simon Partridge and Joanna Jones, Duo 4,5,6’ River /Alice’ by Simon Partridge
  8. Paul Cheneour, Solo Flute

Break

  1. Nicola Dunsbee, ‘In the Park I have;
  2. Gary Studley,’ A Pause’
  3. Trevor Breedon, ‘Grounds for pleasure’
  4. Robert Marsh, ‘Kearsney’
  5. Joanna Jones and Simon Partridge, ‘will you won’t you’ by Simon Partridge
  6. Paul Dagys, ‘The sad legend of Mary Brown’
  7. John Wood,‘Roundabout’

5pm End

A truly wonderful afternoon of sunshine, art, music and poetry to celebrate the new interactive sculpture ‘Alice’ in Kearsney Park. Thank you Joanna Jones and DAD, Anita and DDC, Alma Tischlerwood, Rob Hedley Dray, all the performers and friends for a very special Saturday afternoon 😊congratulations on a lovely event and wonderful sculpture. Helen Lindon

Thank you so much for the opportunity to perform and also the amazing opportunity to get my first commission for my poetry. It was the most amazing project to be involved in, it was bloody marvellous. I’m very grateful to of been a part of it all. Chevonne Lane
Huge thanks for letting Soundlines poets get involved with Project in the Park. I was delighted at how well it came together and continued to bear fruit. This is largely due to your calm organisational skills and charm – well done!
It was a pleasure to meet other artists and the performance on Saturday was hugely enjoyable. All in all a very positive experience.

*The Zorna is a Turkish/ North African instrument, usually played with 3 drummers and outside for weddings and other processional events.
Usually made from mulberry wood and played with a double reed but the mouth doesn’t touch the reed.

Photos : Clare Smith