We’re back! Spring #1 Lubetkin’s Shiny Spandrels

Nothing’s Too Good For Ordinary People

finsbury health centre

Sharp sunshine, an unexpected bonus as we met (some brand new writers alongside returning Writing The City regulars) and off we went, to the London Metropolitan Archive’s Frost Fair exhibition, then back to Mary Ward via Lubetkin’s stunning Finsbury Health Centre and the tranquil  Grey’s Inn Gardens, with its bossy   signage, discouraging the public from entering its public spaces.
Amazing to think the Thames used to freeze over – and that it was due to the old bridges; the small apertures slowing the river’s flow much in the way an icecream maker works. John McCullough’s title poem from his collection The Frost Fairs was one prompt we used  to try and find our own ‘what if?’ way into the history we tapped into.

bartleby in great ormond strret

The layering of time – architecture and its effects on us… (Lubetkin wrote on his ambitions for the Finsbury Health Centre: ‘The spandrels should shine as beautifully as the hair of a beautiful young girl in the summer sunshine.’ Bonus points were offered to any writer who managed to introduce the word SPANDREL into their writing – and a surprising number managed to!)

About claire collison

Writer, photographer, creative facilitator, and breast cancer survivor, I am currently Artist in Residence at the Women's Art Library (WAL) My first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, and my short stories and poetry have appeared in print and online. In 2015 I was awarded second place in the inaugural Resurgence Prize, the world's first eco poetry competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. This blog began as a space for words generated on my walking/writing workshops at the Mary Ward centre in Bloomsbury - Writing the City (WTC). WTC has since grown to include many other venues, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Barbican, the River Rom, Southwark Woods, Aylesbury Estate, and most recently, as part of Walking Women festival, An Intimate Tour of Breasts. I have worked with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, as the recipient of the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, designing teaching resources; and for The Photographers' Gallery, helping school children develop visual literacy as part of 'Seeing More Things'. If you would like me to design a workshop or walk for you, please be in touch!
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