Sunday, July 03, 2022

Refractive Pool Exhibition at the Walker Gallery (and my text from Micro Event Space)

 I was blogging about my upcoming reading on Saturday the 9th (see updates to my last post), relieved that my radiotherapy won't begin until after that date, and I lost all sense of time. We had to rush to the Walker Gallery to see the current painting exhibition (again), Refractive Pool. This time to hear David Jacques’ excellent talk on his work, all monstrous pipes and evil oil, and intimidatingly huge. Pete Clarke was there, as was Mary Prestige, and as was Louis Jeck Prestidge, another contributor. Pete confirmed that some of the words on his four paintings, four versions of one ‘deconstructivating’ building are mine (unacknowledged). Here's an earlier piece of his using that poem, 'Arena Area':


Here are two sections that I recognised. (Famously, I arrived one day at Pete's house to face a painting upon which that I failed to recognise my own words!)



parked in the park forever


a darkness that darkens the lungs

concentrated pitch









          blistered skin where windows

never blink


See here for this poem, as it appears in other paintings by Pete, and in my Red Ceilings publication Micro Event Space. Pete also provided the front cover image:

 There’s more about Pete here: Pages: Pete Clarke's new catalogue and our on-going collaborations ( and here:

Refractive Pool is a project that was established by Josie Jenkins and Brendan Lyons to document and celebrate contemporary painting in Liverpool. The exhibition, features a number of painters I know: Pete Clarke, David Jacques, Louis Prestidge Jeck, and Bernadette O’Toole, (who I met up with to discuss Mallarme, in what seems another world, pre-Covid). Even being in an exhibition space seems strangely fresh. Another return trip will enable me to concentrate on those many others. Rather splendidly, the exhibition is on until January 2023.


 Here are two videos about the exhibition (and about the book, deliberately not a catalogue, accompanying it, with a painterly poem by Paul Farley). The first is a sweep across the images; the second has the curators talking about the exhibition and painting in Liverpool.