Professor David Morley from the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies has seen one of his poems spread across the world as part of acclaimed artist Julia Foster’s global poetry and art project. After encountering Professor Morley's poem "Kings" at the Warwick Arts Centre, Julia began asking friends and fellow artists to participate in linking the lines of the poem around the world between 2008 and 2010.
'Kings' tells the journey of a Romani man. As Professor Morley writes, "The poem is a fairytale: a once upon a time; the scenes are set in no country but many countries the borders of which are invisible". These words are the key to this international art project in which borders become invisible to the journey of Morley's poem and Foster's beautiful art structures.
Julia Foster used the practical form of a Romany 'patrin' to carry the poem. Patrins are markers left by Romanies to let others know of their direction. Julia created 144 patrins in the shape of sycamore leaves cast from metal.
Each of the 144 patrins is threaded with a ribbon cut from a pillowcase. Lines from the poem are printed on the ribbon. Friends have been asked to tie the Patrin along a route or pathway of their choosing and then e-mail an image and details of the location.
The poem has now travelled around the globe. It is now displayed to the public in Hong Kong, Moscow, Kerala, Auckland, Texas, Paris, Granada, Vancouver, Vienna, Quebec, Tory Island, Tokyo, Iona, Rostock, Estland, Meppel, Mausanne, Southern Australia, Barcelona, Thailand, Kuala Lumpur, Szczecin, Warsaw, Iceland, Lithuania, Greece, Dublin, The Solway Firth, Bulgaria, Sicily, Epping Forest, Crete, Beirut, Italy, Washington DC, Amsterdam, New York and elsewhere.
Professor Morley commented: "Julia's achievement in pulling all these people together is amazing. The project says something important about the international community of poets and artists. The 'patrin' is the Romany signature. The project also says something important about Romanies and their rightful place in a world that at best ignores them and at worst persecutes them".