Words and pictures are the theme for a week-long celebration of art and literature taking place at the Yellow Door gallery in Dumfries.

On Wednesday, January 28, artists and printmaker Hugh Bryden and poet Graham Fulton will host the Dumfries launch of their new book: Photographing Ghosts, at the Queen Street gallery. Published by Roncadora Press, this is a new collection of travel poems by Graham, each with a single line monoprint illustration by Hugh. On the evening, Graham will read from this new publication and Hugh will demonstrate how the monoprints were created and demonstrate other monoprinting techniques. Signed copies of Photographing Ghosts will be on sale in the gallery.

On Thursday, January 29, Katy Ewing and Sheila Mullen will showcase Some Strong Harsh Magic, a collaboration between a local poet and an artist which has led to a unique book of paintings and poems by the mother and daughter partnership.

Poet Katy will be reading poems and the first five in the book are accompanied by Sheila Mullen’s painterly responses followed by Katy’s reactions to some of her mother’s paintings.

Katy grew up surrounded by her mother’s wild, expressive landscape paintings and knowledge of her love of the land, its myths and stories. Katy found poetry to be her favourite way to explore and express her own creative attachment to place and story.

She said: “I’ve watched the development of her painting for most of my life and was pretty-much in awe. I was looking at one of my mum’s recent paintings of The Twa Corbies and remembered what she’d said about why it had touched her … and a poem started to happen. Then another came and another.

“These aren’t so much poems inspired by just the paintings, but by my mother’s telling of them, her re-visioning, of these songs and stories she keeps returning to. I think that the way we’re feeding off each other’s different but similar visions, is really interesting and will hopefully carry on.”

On Friday, January 30, an evening of words and pictures is on offer at the Yellow Door. Artist John Threlfall, printmaker Colin Blanchard and poets Fiona Russell, Barbara Mearns, JoAnne McKay and David Mark Williams (the last two from Dumfries Writers’ Group) will be reading.

John said: “The evening will take the form of nature-based art and poetry, where the poems will compliment the paintings, rather than try to explain them.

“Art reflects a moment in time whereas words are more transient. Words provide an observation that will hopefully bring something new to the viewer.

“The Yellow Door gallery is a wonderful, interesting space and we hope that our audience will have a very pleasant evening.”

All events start at 7pm and all are free. Donations welcome.

An accompanying exhibition of Words and Pictures: paintings and other art works inspired by or relating to writing and poetry launches at the Yellow Door on Friday. This exhibition will include work by Hugh Bryden, Graham Fulton, Sheila Mullen, Katy Ewing, John Threlfall, Colin Blanchard, Kim Ayres and Anne Lindsay.

Other events taking place at the gallery include Burns Songs by the Cairn Chorus, after the Burns Night parade on January 25) and the Getz Group will be performing on Sunday, February 1.

Picture Which Hare by Colin Blanchard

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