News | Tuesday, 22nd October 2019

Let the Artists in! Lydia Hounat

Lydia Hounat reflects on her experience as poet-in-residence with Special Collections at Manchester Metropolitan University in a photo-essay.

Lydia Hounat: Workshop
Lydia Hounat: Workshop

An excerpt from an email from Lydia to the residency organisers:

 

“So the workshop went wonderfully, really calm. And I was very nervous as I’ve never done any mentoring before in my life so it was so pleasant in terms of how it turned out. The event initially was sold out, but some individuals cancelled a few hours before (they felt that the workshop would be difficult for them as many of them were grieving throughout the process).

People produced miniature sculptures of writing, I asked them to write down a beautiful thing and then destroy it, recreate it, and consistently do this. Then I asked them to take a walk with me and look at the similarities in ourselves and the world around us. What we ended up with was these destroyed pieces of paper with writing, crushed up with thorns and wet, strangled by knots and loose pieces of string.

We then made a kind of “Pandora’s Box” with them at the end. It was really interesting. I said afterwards that essentially you can keep “destroying” and “recreating” these pieces of work, over and over and people took them home with them.

I managed to photograph the process a little.”

 

I-asked-knot-over-and-knot-now-untangle-wipe-spit-your-pretty-memory-out-spit-back-in-spit-split-tear-off-the-corner-that-curls-up-in-a-foetal-position-your-pen-garbling-on-string-said-it-hurt-you-with-water-on-top-it-said-it-hurt
I-asked-knot-over-and-knot-now-untangle-wipe-spit-your-pretty-memory-out-spit-back-in-spit-split-tear-off-the-corner-that-curls-up-in-a-foetal-position-your-pen-garbling-on-string-said-it-hurt-you-with-water-on-top-it-said-it-hurt

Let’s-take-five-a-rollie-upper-cutting-the-tree-with-sobbing-babies-some-unearthing-out-the-next-process-is-having-to-heal-up-your-self-proclamined-those-mental-scarification-with-a-dock-leaf-and-wodge-of-paper-not-peppered-with-unready-tears

Bench-freaking-the-grass-compare-line-in-that-palm-to-the-vein-in-that-leaf-it’s-salty-reconciliation-tender-with-swelling-with-knots-so-knotted-you-cannot-unknot-the-treacle-out-of-your-thinking-waste-in-a-paper-stem-wafer-thin-prayer-begging-for-undone-the-trauma-skulking-sandals-and-sneakers-dribbling-into-the-hottest-day-of-the-year-so-far

Lydia Hounat was one of three poets chosen to be a poet-in-residence with Special Collections at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2019. To celebrate the residency, Manchester Poetry Library has curated a three-part digital exhibition, in which each resident responds to their residency in different ways (essays, an interview and photography). A special publication about the residency will also be accepted into Special Collection's holdings. Here, Lydia reflects on her experience as poet-in-residence with a photo essay on the workshop she led. 

Lydia Hounat is a British-Algerian artist and editor hailing from Manchester, England. Initially a writer, she later became drawn to interdisciplinary practice and experimentation with other artistic mediums, such as photography, illustration and filmography. She received her BA in English with Creative Writing at Falmouth University and is currently undertaking an MA in Writing at the Royal College of Art. She is a member of The Writing Squad, a poetry editor for REALITY BEACH in New York, and Editor-in-Chief at SOBER., an interdisciplinary art zine which she co-founded with her friend Rupert Phillips in Falmouth during their undergraduate degrees. https://www.lydiahounat.co.uk/about 

Let the artists in! is a project from First Draft, which commissions brand new work inspired by collections in museums and libraries across the north of England. Let the artists in! is generously supported by Arts Council England and The Writing Squad.Let the artists in! is a project from First Draft, which commissions brand new work inspired by collections in museums and libraries across the north of England. Let the artists in! is generously supported by Arts Council England and The Writing Squad. 

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