“The greatest threat to their lives was a spark
The sulferuous spite filled spit of diablo
So they became spark catchers. Strike.”
– excerpt from Spark Catchers
I visited my artwork “Spark Catchers” at The Olympic park today for the first time since it was erected for The Olympic Games in 2012. The commission from The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) was to write a poem for the housing of a Transformer. A transformer provides electricity for the Olympic games. They are large oblong structures each surrounded by Scottish Larch Wood I researched the Olympic Site which was nothing but rubble and a perimeter fence at the time and after a month I rediscovered an idea.
Though the commission was to write one piece for the front I wrote a piece for each of three visible sides of the structure. The ODA were pleased with this development. So off I went. Midway through the process it was instructed by the owners of the transformers – EDF – that each side had to include a bright yellow DANGER OF DEATH sign smack bang in the middle of the poems! I responded with a ranting Facebook Update. It ended “I have already written two of the pieces for two sides of the structure but the final one will repeat the words “Living is in”.
The DANGER OF DEATH signs were duly imposed on the structure on the beautiful Scottish Larch Wood but someone must have seen my facebook update because they omitted the on on the “living is in” side. The poems are near impossible to photograph but are easily legible when you are actually there. The poem here is Spark Catchers. It’s about the Matchgirls of Bow. . See the danger of death signs.
And here’s the second “A certain electricity betwen us”. It reads “There is a certain electricity between us, a spark’
I swear theydeliberately didn’t include the danger of death sign on this one.
Had the sign been put up (as it is on the other two sides) it would have read “Living is in danger of death”.
If I hadn’t gone public at the time of the commission the sign would have been put in the space provided. But ladies and gentlemen this is how it looks after my visit today.
I’ll end on this. I wrote these poems for The Olympic site and ODA. Visa had the advertising rights to the Olympics. The poem celebrated the first strike action in trade union history. Goal. The strike was by women for women. Goal. The rule across the site was that artworks were not to include names of the artists as VISA had the rights. My name is on each side of the structures. GOAL On the success of this commission EDF and ODA asked for poems by other poets on all their transformers. GOOOOOAAAAL.
With the sign placed by yours truly today the Living is in fear of death project has now finally ended and will live on forever more.