Wordsworth and Bashō; Walking Poets‘ held at The Wordsworth Trust Museum gallery in 2014 engendered a great deal of interest in particular from Japanese artists and colleagues involved.  There was enthusiasm expressed for a new exhibition to be held in Japan that could feature original manuscripts of Matsuo Bashō as well as original manuscripts by William and Dorothy Wordsworth and new artwork too by Japanese and UK based artists and poets.

With help from Japanese colleagues, much discussion and fund-raising WALK is leading on the co-ordination of this new exhibition which will be hosted by Kakimori Bunko, Itami City in Japan and curated by Dr Mike Collier of WALK and Ms Imai, Senior Managing Director of Kakimori.Exhibition at Kakimori Bunko, Itami, Japan

The exhibition at Kakimori Bunko is taking place 17th September – 3rd November 2016. This is the first time original manuscripts of William Wordsworth’s poetry and Dorothy Wordsworth journals are being seen in Japan and the first time displayed with those of the Japanese Haiku master, Matsuo Bashō.  And alongside the original manuscripts are displayed new artwork by twelve contemporary British and thirteen Japanese artists (painters, poets, musicians, sculptors and calligraphers).   This creative process began with an International Japan/UK Artists Symposium held via skype link.

Themes explored include re-developing an embodied connection to our environment (as revealed through the work of these two walker/poets), and a contemporary examination of the relationship of the form and framing of the script used by Wordsworth and Basho to the natural and social landscapes through which the poets walked.

Accompanying the exhibition there will is a 175 page bi-lingual full-colour catalogue produced.

An international symposium based around the exhibition is being hosted by Kobe City University of Foreign Studies.

Kakimori Bunko has undertaken full engagement programme; lectures by curators and academics, a panel discussion featuring contributing artists and a gallery concert of a new suite of music created for the exhibition by composer Nobuya Monta.

More installation shots of the exhibition at Kakimori Bunko to follow….

Launch Event and Exhibition at Abject Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

In an innovative venture, and using the app ‘Periscope’, the developing dialogue between Japanese and British participating artists will be broadcast throughout the creative process.  A group of students from Northumbria Unversity are curating this interactive process and lead on a UK launch event at Abject Gallery, central Newcastle concurrently with the launch event in Kakimori Bunko.

The highlight of the launch event was a live broadcast guided tour of the exhibition in Kakimori Bunko by its curator, Dr Mike Collier of WALK Research Group. There was also a participatory arts workshop based on the poetry of Basho and Wordsworth for all.   The exhibition of documentation of the artists’ creative process and of the work on show in Japan was held Sat 17th till Fri 23rd September.

Manuscripts by Matsuo Basho held in the collection of Kakimori Bunko will be on display in the exhibition.

And below two of the original manuscripts from the Wordsworth Trust collection being shown in Japan for the first time.

An important part of the project was the sharing of the creative process; between artists working on the project but also with the wider public.  This was achieved by asking artists to film and broadcast themselves making the artwork, talking about the process, or in any other way communicating something of their inspiration to others.  A phone app ‘Periscope’ was used to do this; an amazing tool that enables a person to film an event and broadcast live to the world, and for any person to access this live broadcast.  These pieces of video can then be saved.

The videos below were made by contributing artists Mike Collier, Esen Kaya and Ewan Clayton and poets John Strachan and Gerry Loose in response to our request, using Periscope to broadcast and then save the pieces.

We are very grateful to the following for making this ambitious and exciting project possible:

Vantec Corporation, Hitachi Transport System, The Asahi Shinbun Foundation, The Wordsworth Trust, Kakimori Bunko, Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, The University of Sunderland, Bath Spa University, Arts Council England and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

‘Congratulations from Vantec Corporation, the leading Japanese logistics company with business across the globe. We are proud of being part of the sponsorship for this historical event, having the utmost admiration and respect to these two great poets from Japan and the UK who loved nature.’

VANTEC corporate symbol

‘As a proud sponsor, the Hitachi Transport System Group hopes the love of Wordsworth and Basho toward nature will remain in many people’s hearts. It is indeed our management philosophy that we deliver “high-quality services that will help make the world a better place for people and nature for generations to come.”

Hitachi Transport System