‘Poetry Slam at the Proscenium Arch’. oil on panel, 2017. 46 x 60cm
The theatre, drama and performance played an important role as I was growing up.. My mum Rose was an aspiring playwright, performer, producer, director and designer. My sister Claire and I both were actively involved in local and national youth theatre groups and for a few years in my teens, this is what I had my heart set on doing professionally.
In the 1970s, my mum taught at ‘Aberdeen College of Commerce’ (now North East Scotland College) and its main building had a lecture theatre which doubled as a drama theatre. My mum taught speech and drama to students learning English, becoming retailers or learning about telephone sales manners. But the theatre at the college enabled my mum to write, direct and put on plays and recitals and after school would walk to the college where I would rummage in the costume cupboard, play with ‘tape recorders’,lighting rigs and help out with set and prop making for the Rose’s latest performance.
While she never stopped creating, in her final year Rose began to write, direct and perform again; poetry, prose and plays with the Largs Writers Group. In 2014 and at the age of 78, my mum entered the ‘All Woman Poetry Slam’, part of the Harpies Fechters and Quines Festival held at the Forest Café in Edinburgh. Rose ‘battled’ through and won two preliminary rounds only to be pitted at the post in the final. It was a joy to see my Mum perform her poems and to be reminded of the role that performance and the theatre played in our lives thanks to our Mum. ‘Poetry Slam at the Proscenium Arch’ pays tribute to Rose as a performer, writer, producer and educator – and how she enthused and transformed the lives of those willing around her.
Please contact the Open Eye Gallery to inquire about this and other works in the show.
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