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7th September 2020

"Love brings grief, and grief returns to love" – Robin M Eames

By Robin M Eames

Image of "Love brings grief, and grief returns to love" – Robin M Eames

Lead Past/Present Pets poet Robin M Eames reflects on their experience of creating poetry with Studio A artists, Catherin McGuiness, Lisa Scott and Victoria Atkinson.

Death and love are never far apart. In Past/Present/Pets love recurs through the poems: love brings grief, and grief returns to love. Memory is a source of both pain and comfort. Catherine McGuiness's spoken word 'Romeo and Juliet' begins with an elegy to a beloved cat and ends on a note of quiet reflection, "sun[...] going down with the purple colour". Lisa Scott's collage of handwritten journal excerpts meanders between points of loss and joy, with moments of bright humour scattered in between; the past and future are connected by love, pain, and hope. Victoria Atkinson's 'Dream of Turtle Song' is an alluring and otherworldly narrative of life, death, and rebirth, where a mythic Turtle Lady rises out of a lake full of sunlight.
Each poem was shaped by the artists' individual practices, and by what they keep in their hearts. I had very little to do with the different mediums of each work; the formats developed very organically according to their respective storytellers. In times of struggle these works remind us of something wholly necessary: love brings us together, and begets life after death.