Friday 20 January 2017


This is a self portrait by Ofelia Marques, a Portuguese artist. I was recently looking through a catalogue I'd picked up in Lisbon years ago and the drawing caught my eye.
Originally I attempted to write a found poem using the potted biography that accompanied the picture. It was obviously translated from the Portuguese:

another factor that led to the misreading of her;
yet more attentive observation of her drawings suffices to reveal the plastic value of her line;
she helps herself to the lexicon used by each artist;
in an appropriation of his register;
the profound silence that circumscribed her entire oeuvre demands rethinking.

There was more, it mainly focused on the fact that she had not had children, implying [to my eyes, at least] that this was a failure. 
Looking again at these rich lines I may well turn them into a poem.
Anyway this is my humble offering to Ofelia Marques.

the artist as a novelty act
defined by her inactive womb
written off some fifty years before
not to be taken seriously at all

but take a moment
look beyond the frame of history
she may speak to you
as she talks to me
Last time I was in Lisbon there was an exhibition of the 60's on. This is fitting as 50 years ago today The Beatles were in the studio recording A Day In The Life [they worked on the song 19/20 January and 3/10 February 1967].
Sargent Pepper was the second lp I ever bought. I was 11 at the time it was released and while it has not stood the test of time as well as Revolver, Abbey Road or Magical Mystery Tour, A Day In The Life is awe inspiring...

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