Who are we?
We (Mike Sprout and Sam Donaldson) are both artists and activists. We met at Ground Gallery, a community art hub in Hull, and soon became good friends, bonding over a shared concern for the world, and a passion for finding creative ways to help heal the earth and build a fairer, more peaceful, more loving world. Together we have worked on various campaigns, organising against the arms trade, raising awareness of climate change and mental health issues, and most recently facilitating deeper conversations, where people can share openly and be inspired to make change in their communities. We both believe art and poetry are important ways to get past our inhibitions, to help us to see clearly and to talk more authentically about all that’s going on in our world.
What is 'This Place'?
‘This Place’ is a collection of illustrated poems that explores deep engagement with Place - with Land, Being, Body, History, Humanity, Community, Nature. The collection asks the question: “what is the place of the human being within this interconnected web of life called earth?” The final outcome will include around 30 illustrated poems and some appendices with ideas of how to use the collection to facilitate personal and communal reflections on some of the themes raised.
How the idea for 'This Place' came about?
A year ago, Mike asked Sam whether he could illustrate one of his poems. Sam said “Yes!”. Mike illustrated more poems, focusing on rich natural images, and soon the idea for ‘This Place’ began to emerge. The collection is a reflection of the struggles both artists are involved in - the inner journey, grief for a world in turmoil, and the search for a life of compassion and action. The poems and the pictures are about beauty, both the tangible beauty of plants and skies, and the illusive inner beauty of openness to change, realisation of hard truths and the struggle for a more beautiful world…
We hope that the collection will not only be a beautiful piece of art, but that it may also be a helpful tool, offering ways for readers to settle into their own place and explore the question of how to step forth into this world, each footprint full of meaning and love…
We hope to have the collection finished by mid August, to be sent off to print.
£5,000 target. (£2,000 for printing the book. £3,000 for the work involved).
We are planning a staggered reward system for donations. Those who donate over £20 will receive a softback copy of the book, donations over £50 will receive a hardback copy and donations over £100 will receive a hardback copy and a risograph print of one of the pictures.