Art to Art with Ella Frears, Nick Makoha and the Obsidian Foundation

Art to Art is a project that features commissioned poems in response to Morgan Quaintance’s film Missing Time, shown at John Hansard Gallery in May and June 2021.

Working with poets, JHG Writer in Residence Ella Frears facilitated a masterclass that enabled the group to explore the themes of Quaintance’s film, which later developed in to poems performed on Zoom and Facebook Live.

In collaboration with Ella Frears, Hannah Cox (JHG Duty Manager) and Nick Makoha and the Obsidian Foundation, the event featured poets Damian Basher, Clementine Ewokolo Burnley, alongside Obsidian Foundation members Kondo Heller, Asmaa Jama and Kojo Apeagyei, as well as hosts Ella Frears and Nick Makoha.

Organised in partnership with ArtfulScribe, as part of the SO:Write Literature Development Project.

Learn more about the poets, and read the poems or listen to the recordings on the links below:

A multidisciplinary artist, Kojo Apeagyei is a writer, photographer, actor and events producer from London. As a writer, he centres investigative journalism, and poetry – finding that the two often masquerade as each other. Kojo’s experimental approach explores memory, truth, and irony to discover evocative experiences which land somewhere between prose and poetry. An Obsidian Foundation Fellow, an alum of the 2018 Arvon writers retreat and 2017 Apples and Snakes Writers Room, Kojo was also nominated for the Young People’s Laureate for London in 2018. He formerly produced and hosted the monthly poetry night, Pen-Ting Poetry – with a sold out run of 11 shows and has featured at places such as the Battersea Arts Centre and Neverworld Festival. Read here / Listen here

Damian Basher performs and runs live literature events and workshops and is half of Panda-monium, Hampshire’s leading panda-harmonium duo. Read here / Listen here

Clementine E Burnley is a feminist migrant writer,  Obsidian Foundation poet and facilitator. She’s been shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize,  Amsterdam Open Book Prize, the First Pages Prize and was selected for Chimamanda N. Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus Trust Workshop. In 2021 her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also a 2021 Edwin Morgan Second Life Grantee. Her work has appeared in Emma Press’ Anthology of Britain, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Parabola Magazine and The Centifictionist. You can find her online on Twitter @decolonialheart and Read here / Listen here

Ella Frears is a poet and artist based in London. Her debut collection ‘Shine, Darling’ (Offord Road Books, 2020) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Her poems about the St Ives Modernists are on display at Tate St Ives. She is the current Writer in Residence for the John Hansard Gallery. Read here / Listen here

Kondo Heller is a poet, writer, Ledbury Critic, and experimental poetry filmmaker. They are an incoming Cornell University MFA Poetry student and have performed their poetry amongst other places at the Roundhouse, APT Gallery, and the Barbican. They also co-host a monthly radio show called Poetic Healing with Zen and Kondo on THFradio. Find Kondo on Instagram @howtogrowaflower. Read here / Listen here

Asmaa Jama is a Danish born, Somali artist, poet and co-founder of Dhaqan Collective, a feminist art collective. They have been published in print and online in places like Ambit, ANMLY and The Good Journal. Asmaa’s work has been translated into French, Swahili, Somali, Spanish and Portuguese. Most recently they were shortlisted for Brunel African Poetry Prize and longlisted for the National Poetry Competition. Asmaa is a Cave Canem Starshine and Clay Fellow. Read here / Listen here

Nick Makoha is the founder of The Obsidian Foundation. In 2017, Nick’s debut collection, Kingdom of Gravity, was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and was one of the Guardian’s best books of the year. Nick is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow and the Complete Works alumnus. He won the 2015 Brunel International AfricanPoetry Prize and the 2016 Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Prize for his pamphlet Resurrection Man. His poems have appeared in the Cambridge Review, the New York Times, Poetry Review, ‘e Rialto, Poetry London, TriQuarterly Review, Boston Review, Callaloo and Wasa’ri. He is a Trustee for the Arvon Foundation and the Ministry of Stories, and a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective. Read here / Listen here

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