Nobel-Prize-winning poet, WB Yeats, inspired by Irish legend, landscape & longing, actually grew up (from age 2) among the roadways & 'pavements grey' of his much-loved poem, 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree', written here in Bedford Park, describing the exile that shaped his writing, a Celtic Revival, & the course of English Literature. Most of those years were in Bedford Park, the world’s first garden-suburb, whose diverse, Bohemian community fostered the young Irish poet’s unique creativity
Yet the only Nobel-Prize-winning poet brought up in England has no monument in England!
Help the local community, organisations, schools, migrant communities (including London-Irish), & poets & artists everywhere install a sculpture celebrating Bedford Park's progressive spirit & Yeats’s poetic genius!
What we'll deliver:
- Install, nr. Yeats's boyhood Bedford Park home, 'Enwrought Light' a major Yeats-inspired artwork by Conrad Shawcross RA.
- Install info panels about Yeats & the unique role played in his life by the local artistic Bedford Park community
- Include links to our website with info on Yeats-linked Bedford Park locations nearby.
Why it's a great idea:
The artwork will:
CELEBRATE Yeats’s poetry & drama
HONOUR a local schoolkid who became a major international literary figure
HIGHLIGHT Bedford Park’s role in fostering Yeats’s genius
INSPIRE local young people to participate in poetry, drama & visual arts
ENCOURAGE community pride in the area’s unique cultural/arts heritage
PROMOTE contemporary art
IMPROVE public space
ENHANCE the environment
SUPPORT the local economy
RECOGNISE the mutually valuable Irish-British cultural interaction exemplified by Yeats’s life/work
ACKNOWLEDGE migrant communities’ vital role in creating/enriching Britian’s arts/culture while benefiting from London as a cultural hub in which to develop their own art, ideas & identity
REMEMBER Yeats’s own cross-cultural interest in Hinduism, Buddhism, & Eastern teaching & spirituality
UNDERLINE Bedford Park’s historic significance as a progressive artistic community, the world’s first garden suburb, & a model for holistic housing development worldwide
Steps to get it done:
- Commission Conrad Shawcross Studio to commence creation of artwork
- Confirm installation engineers/contractors from tender/quote process
- Groundwork plus base installation
- Artwork installation
- Installation of interpretive information panels
- Unveiling, public celebration, media coverage etc
As well as improving amenity, local parents & schools see the artwork as focus/inspiration for their students, (including local theatre school); Bedford Park Society see the project attracting public attention to the garden-suburb's unique progressive spirit; for small businesses it will bring local & international visitors to the shops & cafe area around Turnham Green Station; London-Irish organisations see the project highlighting Irish cultural status in London by honouring someone who contributed massively to British & Irish culture/life & who 'belongs' to both; the local Buddhist community supports the project as highlighting Bedford Park's & Yeats's late 19c interest in Eastern spirituality; & local people generally are happy to see their area's cultural/creativity/artistic status celebrated & the environment enhanced. Writers & artists support the project not simply because of its advocacy for the arts but because it will inspire culture & creativity for generations to come!