Sunday, December 05, 2021

Pete Clarke's new catalogue and our on-going collaborations

Pete Clarke has published an exciting new catalogue, Other Echoes … doubt and distance, featuring work he has been painting at Bluecoat over the last couple of years. It is wide-ranging and includes his ‘doubt and distance … of lost content’, which is now in the Walker Gallery, after it was short-listed for the John Moores Painting Prize in 2017. That's Pete and the painting in The Walker below. You can contact the publisher (Pete at the Bluecoat) at Studio 4, Bluecoat, School Lane, L1 3BX. Pete’s website is

The catalogue includes work based around ‘Arena Area’, a series of (deliberately) short poems that I wrote for/with Pete. We took a walk around Liverpool and found the remains of a ‘car park fire’ down the docks in January 2018. He took photos; I looked (and wrote, later). The text appears in the new catalogue, 12 short poems, for example:


parked in the park forever

a darkness that darkens the lungs

concentrated pitch


with which it starts. Pete has produced a number of small canvases which use these words, sometimes re-ordering them, sometimes focusing in on groups of words (in and across lines). Here are some of those images.


I also read 7 of the sections behind a page of the catalogue on this video. (By chance I begin by reading the words on the canvasses arranged on this page, which are also those quoted above.)


The catalogue refers to our ‘on-going’ collaboration, but we haven’t done anything this side of lockdown. Perhaps this catalogue will spur us on. But we have been going for a long time now. Below are links to other works of ours.

Pages: Pete Clarke and Robert Sheppard: 'Black Panels' in John Lennon School of Art Exhibition


The text ‘Area Arena’ appears both in the catalogue, and in my Red Ceilings volume Micro Event Space. One of Pete’s works from the accompanying sequence formed part of its cover, above. You may read more about that book and its micro-launches (which don’t look so funny post-lockdown post-social distancing!) here: Pages: Robert Sheppard: Micro Event Space launched in a series of micro-readings in micro event spaces