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The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

Whilst reading the final drafts of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice it struck me how words, and in particularly poetry, when committed to paper can transmute over time to adapt to current situations and environments. Whereas some of the poems within the book where written many years ago, in some cases missing out on being included in Flowers by the Road, they seem more relevant to the times that we now find ourselves witnessing.

Take the title poem for example: initially created around a global theme of climate change and environmental disaster, who could have predicted that any season would be lost without sound.

There is a slight apprehension that The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is launched into a world where our futures are unknown and ill-defined. The reason for writing and publishing work is so that somewhere, someone may find it and gain something. What that something is remains unwritten, undiscovered, but without the artists, poets and musicians existing then there would be nothing left to explore. Imagine that.

 

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

There are somethings I will never understand:
the secrets of the beehive; a dying sting;
the apiarist’s hand at the signal
of the last swarm guided from the under-land

where life peels away from the new colours
mixed on a rough-sawn palette;
a violent history that understood
the bitter-sweet taste of flowers.

Inside the butterfly collector
spears her latest catch;
euphemised in chloroform,
displayed in plastic on the door.

December once brought cold,
once brought the first frost,
rain, hardship and a hunger
for the bleak winters of old.

Outside the greyness suffocates ground,
deadens the call of birds
now left to winter it out.
Of all the seasons to be lost without sound.

 

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice will be released on the 23 April as a special limited edition of 100 copies.

Stay safe,

David.

 

beekeeper (2)

 

Holmfirth

 

Sheep (1 of 1)

Sheep Caught in Brambles, So Many Sounds

I’m delighted to be exhibiting again at this year’s Holmfirth Artweek which begins on the on the 1 July 2018 in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. The show has become a firm fixture on the annual events list and attract thousands of visitors from across the country raising thousands of pounds for Macmillan Cancer Care.

‘Sheep…’ and ‘The Valley…’ will both make their debut in the main exhibition whilst a number of new paintings will also be on show for the first time at Enjoy Art, Marsden where I will be a Fringe exhibitor.

‘Sheep…’ – acrylic on board – measures 16 x 14″ and has been beautifully framed by Delph Picture Framing with an off white frame and will be on sale for £450.00. You may need a bigger wall space for ‘The Valley…’ possibly the biggest painting I’ve completed at 138 x 87cm and again framed in off-white. The size of the painting gives a wonderful immersive quality to the landscape. ‘The Valley…’ will retail at £1200.00.

Both paintings are inspired by poems and those who have read The Walk from Flowers by the Road may recognise one of the titles.

 

 

 

The Valley Twitches (1 of 1)

The Valley Twitches in its Bed

 

#February

So it seems the secret of navigating a cold Pennine February is simple: publish your first poetry pamphlet and launch a solo exhibition of new paintings inspired by the poetry. No problem…

david_coldwell_cover-crop

Flowers by the Road

Flowers by the Road became a reality after the collection won Templar Poetry’s Portfolio Prize in October 2016. The publisher planned an official launch party at Keats House in London on the 28 February 2017 so all I had to do was write, edit and re-write in time for a fairly generous deadline. That was the initial plan. It all changed, however, when Huddersfield Literature Festival offered me the opportunity to launch the pamphlet in my home village of Marsden as part of their support of local libraries. The only slight problem being is that these events coincide with National Libraries day at the beginning of February. Oops. Fortunately Templar agreed to bring the release date forward and before I knew it I was stood in a library full of people waiting for British Sea Power’s No Man is an Archipelago to finish on the pre-launch playlist so that introductions to begin.

You can see pictures of the launch event here.

Back in November 2016 the volunteer group, Friends of Marsden Library who had agreed to host the event at Marsden had secured the services of Simon Armitage for a night of poetry and library fund raising. It was during this event that I met some of the people who would be supporting my own event and afterwards, following a few celebratory drinks, where I agreed with local gallery owners, Sharon and Kevin, that it might also be a good idea to commit to a solo exhibition to coincide with the launch. Unsurprisingly I woke the next day with a slight hang-over.

The idea behind the exhibition was very simple: the paintings would have some connection with the poems in the collection. From this I began to plan a series of images inspired by single lines from various poems; the result being that the line of text serves as an introduction to the narrative of the painting rather than the painting simply being an illustration of the poem. Eight paintings were finished in this style and finally exhibited alongside a number of other works.

FOX (1 of 1)

A Fox Walks Across Our Path, Still Looking

The exhibition continues throughout March with pictures available to takeaway on the day.

Gallery

Enjoy Art, Marsden

We eventually made it to London, enjoying the sights and making the most of our trip with visits to the Theatre and the Hockney retrospective at the Tate. Whilst the launch did clash with the premier of Kong at Leicester Square it didn’t seem to impact on audience numbers, so much so that after I finished my reading a late comer had pinched my seat! The wonderful Ellen Cranitch followed my reading with a spell-binding performance of poems from her latest Templar collection, The Immortalist.

So that was February. Now with feet firmly back on the ground and the sun making a re-appearance it’s been a time to get back out in the garden and do some digging.

The Blue House

The Blue House

Marsden Launch – pre-launch playlist:

Walls – Kings of Leon

The Ghosts on the Shore – Lord Hunron

Eyes to the Wind – The War On Drugs

Don’t Panic – Coldplay

Picture of You – Richard Ashcroft

Icebox – Rougue Valley

29 #Strafford Apts – Bon Iver

Atlantic City – Bruce Springsteem

Magnificent – Elbow

No Man is an Archipelago – British Sea Power

Flowers by the Road

My debut poetry pamphlet, Flowers by the Road (Templar Poetry) is now available to order direct from the on-line book shop at Templar Poetry. Price includes free UK shipping.

The collection was a winning entry in Templar Poetry’s Portfolio Awards 2016.

To order a copy please follow this LINK

Thank you

david_coldwell_cover-crop

Flowers by the Road – 2017

Neighbour

I’m delighted to announce that my poetry collection titled, Flowers by the Road, has been chosen as the winning entry in the latest Templar Poetry Portfolio Awards. The collection will be published by Templar Poetry as a pamphlet in early 2017 and launched with a special reading at Keats House, London.

Please keep a look out for more news and release dates.

In other news the painting, Neighbour (pictured below) completes the series of paintings under the heading, Two Houses by the Road and all works are now available at the Millyard Gallery, Uppermill, Saddleworth.

neighbour-1-of-1

Neighbour – acrylic on board 30 x 30cm

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