Maxine Relton Artist in Lockdown

By Mary-Anne Bartlett on 7th May 2020

I’ve embarked on a year-long project with other Gloucestershire artists to document a particular nearby spot or object. I’ve chosen the only tree in my garden (a silver birch) which I’m recording in many different ways in the form of a concertina book.

My monthly poetry group continues to inspire many new creative projects, including this earlier poem I wrote “in the voice of the artist’s sketchbook”.

The Artist’s Sketchbook

I wait
in silence, one among the many,
wait for your knowing hand to
recognise my qualities.

I have
it in me to inspire, for I am
born of other practised hands,
the craft of centuries.

I know
the heft and touch, the tone and shape
of your desire, your need to
anchor your identities.

I can
be what firms the ground beneath your feet:
what links you to the world, your
hold on life’s complexities.

I give
you courage to take risks, make leaps
into your dreams, transform the everyday
in re-imagined memories.

I am your stay against all loss.