A wonderful outcome

During the second week of our Bellamys at Five exhibition Janie Porter, one of our artists, contacted me saying if her painting didn’t sell she’d like to donate it to somewhere in Dunedin – the library, or the hospital, or anywhere it might brighten people’s day.

At the end of the exhibition, Today was still in the Gallery so I put our plan into action.  I emailed Ginny Green at the Otago Community Hospice, attached the photo below with a copy of the poem, and offered her the painting. Ginny replied immediately saying they would love to hang the picture and the poem at the Hospice.

Janie Porter’s response to “Today” by Billy Collins

 This afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting Ginny who was delighted to take charge of the painting. She showed me one area of the Hospice where it could possibly be hung. Often with a painting it takes several ‘tries’ before it finds it right home. Ginny said she’ll send Janie and me a photo of Today when it’s settled in.

Many thanks to Billy Collins and Janie Porter for a truly wonderful collaboration and outcome.

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Going, going, gone!

This afternoon we held the last event, Questions and Artists, for the 2013 Poems in the Waiting Room exhibition, Bellamys at Five.

the artists and janetClockwise: Janet De Wagt, Peter and Laura Gregory, Pauline Bellamy, Lew Walsh, Kate Fitzharris, Cathy Shemansky, Claire Beynon and Annelyse Gelman

Janet de Wagt chaired the event and with her wonderful down to earth manner extracted some thoughtful and insightful answers to her questions. Standing at the back of the room I observed both audience and  artists and noticed  the emotions these answers triggered in the audience.  As one artist answered I could see others nodding their heads and connections were being made and acknowledged between the artists.

Artists and audience

Artists and audience snapped before the event. And the obligatory afternoon tea photo!

My sincere thanks to Janet for generously giving up her Sunday afternoon and also for taking the time to provide the audience with the background to the Poems in the Waiting Room project. Thanks to Peter and Laura Gregory, Kate Fitzharris, Annelyse Gelman, Claire Beynon, Cathy Shemansky, Lew Walsh and Pauline Bellamy for putting themselves  ‘on show’ for the audience.

still smiling1Pauline and John Bellamy have once again been a delight to work with and for sharing their time and Gallery with me I am so very very grateful. To  Imogen, Louise, Elspeth, Rosalind,  Kay, Noela, Pauline and Laura thank you for your wonderful contributions to the great afternoon teas.

Artists3 theartists2 the artists1 thepoets2 thepoetsAnd to all the artists and poets, thank you for taking on my idea of Bellamys at Five, and turning it into the ‘real thing’.

There are a few ideas brewing for next year’s exhibition but I plan to take a break for a month or two and attend to my own writing, my garden, walking, catching up with friends and of course working on the next Poems in the Waiting Room poetry card.

When the next exhibition starts to take on a life I’ll redirect you to the new blog. In the meantime keep up with my sporadic blogging at waitingroompoems.wordpress.com. Thanks for stopping by over the last few months.


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The art of poetry

the art2This evening I’ve been lazing by the fire enjoying some quiet reflection as opposed to the excess reflection in the photo above!!!

The Bellamys at Five exhibition closes tomorrow at 5.00pm. But before then we have one last event. Do come along and enjoy the opportunity to meet some of the artists and hear them chatting to Janet de Wagt.

Poems in the Waiting Room presents

Questions and Artists

Sunday 22nd September from 1.30 -3.00pm

Bellamys Gallery, Macandrew Bay, Dunedin.

Pauline Bellamy, Claire Beynon, Annelyse Gelman, Laura Gregory, Peter Gregory, Kate Fitzharris, Cathy Shemansky and Lew Walsh will be chatting to Janet de Wagt about their exhibition work, the poem they chose to interpret and more……..  Entry by koha/donation to Poems in the Waiting Room.

You know that painting you’ve been thinking about and mulling over? Well now’s your last chance to have another look and maybe even purchase it. If you live outside Dunedin, but have spied a painting on the blog that’s grabbed your interest, contact me and I’ll answer any questions you may have re availability, price…. waitingroompoems(at)gmail(dot)com. Please replace the (at) with @ and (dot) with .

the art

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This morning there’s a note


David Kelly-Hedrick used recycled pallets to recreate Alyson Hallett’s poem How the World gets Bigger. David’s work resided at our house while awaiting the exhibition. Being such a large work of art the only space for it was in our front passage so whenever we opened the front door it was the first thing to greet visitors. And one of our visitors purchased it! Because David was heading home to the States before the exhibition opened we decided it would be great if he had the money to spend before he left so our friend paid him, she took the work home and David spent the money in New Zealand.  And why are there three green letters? Well that’s the poet’s initials.

And here is the very same artwork ensconced in its new abode.

DKH at Imos

David made two hangings, from drift wood found in the Otago harbour, which he asked me to display and sell at the exhibition. The hangings were lines from poems which he admired. So although they weren’t in the official exhibition, as the poems hadn’t appeared in our poetry cards, I was very happy to include them especially as David wanted all the money raised to go into the Poems in the Waiting Room funds. Both sold on the opening night.

Pictured below is Mary Oliver’s line before I chained the words together and hung them up.

David K

A line from Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day

And a line from Albert Wendt’s poem Mauli hanging in the Gallery

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Chamomile, lemon balm and giraffes

Annelyse Gelman is the fastest working artist in the exhibition. I only met her 10 days before the exhibition and in passing conversation I happened to mention that one poem had just lost an artist. She immediately offered to take on the challenge. This is Annelyse’s interpretation of  Chamomile and Lemon Balm by Paula Harris.


Richie Orrick chose Danielle Hope’s poem, Giraffe. Well that’s what he says but I think  Giraffe chose him. They’re well matched – both unafraid of sticking their necks out!


Richie was  also attracted to Kate Duignan’s poem, Grandmother. He’s currently living in Ireland and was worried this work might not reach me in time so he sent instructions and sketches to his mate Dave Gunson, another exhibition artist, and Dave interpreted Richie’s interpretation of Kate’s poem. Whew I hope you can follow that!


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Who’s counting?

Merrill  Simmons-Hansen decided she would like to work with James Scruton’s poem, Counting the Days.

email merrill

Pauline Bellamy, the better half of the Bellamys Gallery partnership (oops apologies John, I meant to say one half!!) is the only artist with three works in the exhibition. When some of the artists couldn’t make a choice between two favourite poems I relented and let them exhibit two works. When Pauline smilingly told me she was drawn to three poems I was happy to say, go for it. Pauline’s smiles make her irresistibly likeable! We’ve  survived two exhibitions and although we both repeatedly say, never again, every day an idea for another exhibition crops up in our conversation until one of us says, hey what happened to never again! Pauline’s three etchings are below with the name of the poem and poet underneath each one.


Viola by Meg Campbell


For Heidi with Blue Hair by Fleur Adcock

Economics by Jacob Polley

Economics by Jacob Polley

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Trace of clouds

TraceCatherine Day entitled her artwork Trace. This contact print is her response to Canadian poet Michael Lavers’ poem, Coda.  

And below Trace framed and under the spotlight on the Gallery wall.

Trace framed

Mike Glover chose to interpret Brian Turner’s poem, Clouds. Mike said Brian’s poem tapped into a memory of mine – getting sun-stroke after a day of stacking bales of hay and having odd hallucinations. It’s no coincidence that the smallest cloud resembles a flying saucer!

Mike’s pastel work unframed

cloudsand framed and hanging in the Gallery.

flowers out front

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Op shops and kites

AnneBannockYesterday I featured Lynn Taylor’s response to Barbara Strang’s haiku, on a diet. The collage above is Anne Bannock’s response to Barbara’s poem, Op Shop Fever. It is the most wonderful poem. If you’ve read John Masefield’s Sea Fever then you’ll recognise Barbara’s source of inspiration.  Anne has captured the very essence of an Op Shop. Anne sent me the above photo before it was framed – good thinking on Anne’s part as once framed there’s always a slight problem capturing the photo without my reflection sneaking into the shot! A framed view taken from an angle to avoid reflections so it looks somewhat skewiff but I assure you the framing is perfect!


Claridge, Beverly001

Beverly Claridge created this delicious mixed media artwork after reading Gary McCormick’s poem, Daughter.

And after framing, it looks like this.


After months of preparation for our Bellamys at Five exhibition, it will all be over in five days. But we’re finishing with a flourish.  Do come along to Questions and Artists for a very informal afternoon with Janet de Wagt chatting to some of the artists represented in the exhibition.

Poems in the Waiting Room presents

Questions and Artists

Sunday 22nd September from 1.30 -3.00pm

Bellamys Gallery, Macandrew Bay, Dunedin.

Pauline Bellamy, Claire Beynon, Laura Gregory, Peter Gregory, Kate Fitzharris, Cathy Shemansky and Lew Walsh will be chatting to Janet de Wagt about their exhibition work, the poem they chose to interpret and more……..

Seats are limited so please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Email: waitingroompoems@gmail.com or leave a message on 03 4542054 with name, number attending and contact details. Entry by koha/donation to Poems in the Waiting Room.

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Believe’n diets

Shemansky small

Cathy Shemansky chose UK poet Tom Kelly’s poem Believe for her pastel artwork. The  poem starts like this…

It’s happening, the odd crocus
edges out between rocks and trees,
blue tongues licking crisp sunshine

Cathy’s work is stunning, and the colours are marvellous.

Lynn's crittersLynn Taylor’s little sisters stole the show and sold like hotcakes. They were created in response to Barbara Strang’s haiku,

on a diet
she devours
recipe books

Lynn wrote the following:

Feed our sisters. Some of us are full but some sisters have been on a diet of recipe books too long and have been reduced to slinkies. Please save them so they can be stuffed with some tasty dacron or at least have a new view! (You can choose to keep your Slinky Sister as a wall piece or have her evolve into a stuffed girl)

These personalities respond to the haiku I chose and also blend with my own waiting room experiences. While undergoing chemotherapy I was hypnotized to help me turn up to the treatments. A part of this therapy was to visualise a little monster friend who would come along with me – a fun creature who counteracted the grim reality.

Mixed media: new fabrics, predominately hand dyed and screenprinted fabrics, including vintage table cloths and doilies. Buttons, domes, thread, dacron etc. Fabric imagery is made from dying fabrics and overprinted with text from recipe books, silverfish (the ultimate book devourers) scales, tape measures and kitchen items.

DSC02058And again using the same haiku as her theme Lynn made these soft leather and hardcover hand bound books.

Variety of papers, including reconstituted paper handmade from a pulped (Devoured) recipe book -“Dine with Elizabeth”. Screen print, paint, embroidery thread, shell button.

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Four Poets

Before and after By the time I arrived at Bellamys this morning John and Pauline had not only collected the seating but also arranged it so everyone would be able to view the poets. All I had to do was set out the food, organise the drinks and fluff around until our first audience members arrived. All 60 seats were sat upon so we had a Full House. I intended to capture all the audience but  after taking one photo I was distracted and then just plain forgot!

Please excuse the poor quality of photos –  I planned to take heaps but I was enjoying the readings so much I set the camera down and then it was a case of oops quick grab a photo before he/she sits down.

The 4 poets settling inThe Four Poets – Brian Turner, David Eggleton, Kay McKenzie Cooke and Emma Neale waiting while Sue Wootton makes the introductions.

Sue WooSue is a wonderful MC . Her background research on each reader was spot on and she has this knack of making both the audience and poets feel at ease.

KayKay was first up followed by

Brian TurnerBrian and then

Emma NealeEmma

David speed readingwith David closing the show.

The photos seem to get blurrier as the readings progressed.  I assure you no alcohol was consumed before or during the reading. You know that expression ‘a bad hair day’ well for me it was a ‘bad camera day’.

The poets, Sue, the audience, my catering mates, the Bellamys and my ever supportive husband, Barry,  all made this event thoroughly enjoyable. Thank you all.

The food2

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