Illegitimate Objects

Despite what you might think,  the title of this post is not referring to my poems. It is true that people still argue from time to time about  the ‘legitimacy’ of prose poems, collage poems and poems that contain ‘found material’ – which accounts for about 99% of my work. Not what this is about.  It is also true that I find the idea of illegitimacy quite interesting and provocative, however that is still not what this post is about.

Object of Questionable Legitimacy

Object of Questionable Legitimacy

It is in fact the title of a group exhibition put together to celebrate the opening of Oxford’s new Mathematical Institute. I have so enjoyed being part of such an interesting project and working alongside some brilliant poets and artists. The poets are: Agnes Davis, April Pierce, Claire Trévien, Daisy Johnson, Dan Holloway, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sam Guglani (and me). The artists:


Katrina Blannin  Elaine Le Corre  Bella Easton Tim Ellis Gabrielle Hoad  Sally Howkins  Stephen Lee  

Iavor Lubomirov  Ruth Millar  Luke Ralphs  Felicity Shillingford 

Kate Terry


metroncollaborative: Diane Jones-Parry  Annabel Ralphs

Click on the above. Pretty legit.

But here’s the illegitimacy. Me. Maths. Big faker. But read the quotation below and it seems I fit right in……

 Illegitimate Objects

Illegitimate Objects is a group exhibition for which artists and poets have made work in response to the Mathematical Institute’s collection of models of geometric surfaces. Made in the nineteenth century, and most likely purchased by JJ Sylvester, these models have a timeless appeal to mathematicians and artists alike.

The models were not ‘evidence’ in any sense of the term. They were boundary objects, good for trading meanings and for showing figures but illegitimate as objects of pure mathematics….’ (from Mathematical Models by Herbert Mehrtens, in Models, The Third Dimension of Science. eds Soraya de ChadarevianNick Hopwood, Stanford University Press 2004).

The exhibition is curated by metroncollaborative and its website is here. The exhibition runs from 17 September to 18 November 2015, with a Poets’ event on Saturday 17 October (2–4 pm)..

Do drop in. I dare you.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s