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Art & Poetry: Ekphrastic Ethics in the Gallery Space, 11 May 2024

Ulster Museum
Botanic Gardens, Belfast, BT9 5AB
11 May 2024
Convened by Eva Isherwood-Wallace

Image showing a drawing of an elaborate Grecian urn by John Keats overlaid with the handwritten text of his poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. The drawing and text are in purple on a light blue background. Above the image, a title in black text on a white background reads “Art & Poetry: Ekphrastic Ethics in the Gallery Space”. Below the image, the logos of BAN, Paul Mellon Centre, Yale, Arts Council England and Tate are shown in black on a white background.

Ekphrasis (in which writers respond to other art forms) has become a popular way for poets to engage with gallery spaces, and this has benefitted arts institutions by interpreting their collections in new ways. Artists are, however, not often directly involved in these activities. In collaboration with Soft Fiction Projects, this workshop at the Ulster Museum brought together artists and poets to explore the various ways in which these disciplines intersect.

We asked: What different roles do artists and poets occupy within the gallery space? How might we identify future possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration? Should we have any ethical concerns about ekphrasis?