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Griffin Poetry Prize winner Ken Babstock’s art-inspired poem

June 13th, 2012

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Betty Goodwin (Canadian) 2009,  Tarpaulin # 8, 1976.

Betty Goodwin (Canadian) 2009, Tarpaulin # 8, 1976. Tarpaulin, rope and wire. 322.6 x 261.6 cm. © 2012 Art Gallery of Ontario

Toronto poet Ken Babstock won the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize for his book Methodist Hatchet last week. It’s an amazing achievement and, inspired by his win, we want to share a piece of Babstock’s poetry that’s near and dear to our hearts.

For the Gallery’s reopening after Transformation AGO in 2008, we invited Babstock to create a piece based on Betty Goodwin’s Tarpaulin #8. The recording was installed in a room dedicated to Goodwin on level 5 as part of “Multiple Perspectives,” which captured and shared views on artworks from artists, collectors, curators, conservators, teens and kids. Visitors accessed these recordings through audio stations next to the work or by calling a number and listening on their cellphones.

And now you can listen to Babstock’s poem right here or download it and take it with you. Enjoy!

Curious about this artwork? Listen to AGO conservator Sherry Phillips talk about it and how it was stored and installed here.

Alayna Munce on Giuseppe Penone (Audio)

April 30th, 2010

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Giuseppe Penone. Cedro di Versailles, 2002-2003. Cedar wood, 600  x 170  x 170 cm. On Loan from Private Collection

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Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 15:24

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, poet Alayna Munce created and presents a new poem in response to a sculpture by Giuseppe Penone.

Kelley Aitken on Käthe Kollwitz (Audio)

April 28th, 2010

Käthe Kollwitz. Die Klage, 1938

Käthe Kollwitz. Die Klage, 1938. Bronze, 26.5 x 25.7 x 10.2 cm. Gift from the Junior Women’s Committee Fund, 1963 © Art Gallery of Ontario

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, poet Kelley Aitken created and presents a new poem in response to a sculpture by Käthe Kollwitz from the AGO’s collection.

Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 4:27

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Sheila Stewart on ivory female figure (Audio)

April 25th, 2010

Female Figure, date unknown

Unknown artist, Old Bering Sea Culture or Thule, Bering Strait, Alaska. Female Figure, date unknown. Ivory, 6.1cm. Gift of the Klamer Family, 1978 © Art Gallery of Ontario

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, poet Sheila Stewart created and presents a new poem in response to an ivory carving of a female figure from the AGO’s collection.

Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 5:54

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Maureen Hynes on Rebecca Belmore (Audio)

April 21st, 2010

TONIGHT: Poets Spell Art

Please join us at the AGO tonight, Wednesday April 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm in celebration of International Poetry Month. Toronto poet laureate Dionne Brand invites authors George Eliot Clarke, Lynne Crosbie, Daniel David Moses and Souvankham Thamavongsa, to join her in reading poems inspired by pieces from the AGO’s collection.

Rebecca Belmore. Rising to the Occasion, 1987 – 1991

Rebecca Belmore. Rising to the Occasion, 1987 – 1991. Mixed media, 2.0 x 1.2 x 1.2 cm. Gift from the Junior Volunteer Committee, 1995 © Art Gallery of Ontario

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, poet Maureen Hynes created and presents a new poem in response to an artwork by Rebecca Belmore from the AGO’s collection.

Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 6:00

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Maureen Scott Harris on Nelson’s Catafalque (Audio)

April 19th, 2010

Nelson's Catafalque

Unknown artist, made in Great Britain, probably by French sailors, early 19th century. Three-decker 100 Gun Warship, Victory (used as a funerary catafalque for Vice-Admiral Nelson), Prisoner of War Model, c. 1806. wood (variety), varnished; copper and copper alloy; mica, 28.5 x 11.0 x 42.0 cm. The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, poet Maureen Scott Harris created and presents a new poem in response to an 19th century ship model from the AGO’s collection.

Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 7:36

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Upcoming Event: Poets Spell Art

Please join us at the AGO on Wednesday April 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm in celebration of International Poetry Month. Toronto poet laureate Dionne Brand invites authors George Eliot Clarke, Lynne Crosbie, Daniel David Moses and Souvankham Thamavongsa, to join her in reading poems inspired by pieces from the AGO’s collection.

Patria Rivera on Camille Pissarro (Audio)

April 17th, 2010

Camille Jacob Pissarro. Printemps, temps gris, Eragny, 1895

Camille Jacob Pissarro. Printemps, temps gris, Eragny, 1895. Oil on canvas, 60.2 x 73.2 cm. Purchase, 1933 © Art Gallery of Ontario

Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 7:24

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, poet Patria Rivera created and presents a new poem in response a painting by Camille Pissarro from the AGO’s collection.

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Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download 10.4 MB MP3

Upcoming Event: Poets Spell Art

Please join us at the AGO on Wednesday April 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm in celebration of International Poetry Month. Toronto poet laureate Dionne Brand invites authors George Eliot Clarke, Lynne Crosbie, Daniel David Moses and Souvankham Thamavongsa, to join her in reading poems inspired by pieces from the AGO’s collection.

Ruth Pierson on Louise Nevelson (Audio)

April 15th, 2010

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Louise Nevelson. Night Zag IV, 1965

Louise Nevelson. Night Zag IV, 1965. painted wood; mirrored glass; plexiglass; arborite, 235 cm. Purchase, 1968 © Art Gallery of Ontario

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Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 6:22

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, poet Ruth Pierson created and presents a new poem in response to a sculpture by Louise Nevelson from the AGO’s collection.

Upcoming Event: Poets Spell Art

Please join us at the AGO on Wednesday April 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm in celebration of International Poetry Month.

Toronto poet laureate Dionne Brand invites authors George Eliot Clarke, Lynne Crosbie, Daniel David Moses and Souvankham Thamavongsa, to join her in reading poems inspired by pieces from the AGO’s collection.

Barry Dempster on Paterson Ewen (Audio)

April 12th, 2010

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Barry Dempster

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Recorded: September 29, 2009 @ Walker Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Duration: 7:17

Working from the concept of ekphrasis, one art form paying homage to another, Ontario poet Barry Dempster created and presents a new poem in response to a painting by Paterson Ewen from the AGO’s collection.

Upcoming Event: Poets Spell Art

Please join us on Wednesday April 21, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, at the AGO in celebration of International Poetry Month.

Toronto poet laureate Dionne Brand invites authors George Eliot Clarke, Lynne Crosbie, Daniel David Moses and Souvankham Thamavongsa, to join her in reading poems inspired by pieces from the AGO’s collection.