CHARLOTTE HAMPSHAW

Co-Director

poet & writer based in Cornwall.

A graduate of English Literature and History. The following creative work draws from tangled histories, collage, narratives and research. Poetry still in progress - history unfolding, imagined spaces, unspoken thoughts, resemblances, echoes, anticipation - 

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I have no idea

what I'm doing

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and

I

drip drip gold

Women Uprooted by Dominique de Villiers (June 2019)

Poetry reading to support exhibition and film screening at the Fish Factory Arts Space 

Riptide Literary Festival (December 2019)

Poetry and Prosecco (directed and curated poetry evenings October & December 2019) at De Wynn's Coffee House

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He told me tectonic
Plates are breathing, ripping
And rippling with nitrates
The larger fish have gone amiss
Drowned by our forgetfulness
avarice
And in their place are jellyfish
Their names to spurn;
Moon, lions mane, compass, blue,
mauve stingers and barrel too;
The latin terms
AERELIA AERITA/ CYANEA CAPILLITA/ CRYSAARA HYPOSCELLA/ PELAGIA
NOCTILLUCO/ RHIZOSTOMA OCTOPUS

I wish I had a window to see you again
in our soft yellowing living room

blurring past; you were a
petal by my feet, 
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all arms by the window/ all arms and shallowing time/ the window holds my head/ the sun simpers finely through the glass/ and speaks to the wind outdoors/ I love your violent movement and stirring calm/ in rain or storm / the people wait for you, said the sun/ they yearn for my pale light/ and summer shadow/ but it is the voice of the wind, that steals their breath and leaves them waiting at the / window

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 Art and writing are intriguing, especially in Cornwall, where the art-scene is haphazard and dynamic, adapting to all kinds of space, old mills, warehouses, the ocean. I work in the Fish Factory, an art space in Cornwall and have interviewed many of the studio artists and engaged with their projects. I'm inspired by the places I occupy, tying them all together & seeking connections. I've got to see lots of live experimental music events and exhibition. Writing allows optimism to co-exist with panic in a creative tangent.

if you would like to read my article about cornwall click here

sea searing grey and sky overcast,
following the river Lyme past the mill, across
the path which is held up over the water, like
a winding bridge and over the old church ground which rises
up to reveal sea, ford, mouth opening agape

there’s a pet cemetery, he was a darling
he wondered if they accepted hamsters or mice
or just dogs or other sorts, and I said
we put our dog’s ashes into the plant pot of a Japanese maple,
so his paws might become petals.
Then we laughed with delight because ghosts of cats and dogs
might chase each other when the moon is up
and foam was piercing white and the sea-front shops
were stoic, emptied out in cold winter wood
and metal rusted rails, gashed paint
grizzled, when misty air vapour blurs with rain,
and soaks you to the bone but you never notice. 
the high street, gloved hands folded
in my pocket, and we gawped at gift shops and adverts
The ocean cradle for the dusty
promenade, the big sea arcade
with garish green and dingy red
carpet, and the smell of metal, copper coins clattering
dispensing, trying for a trophy,
on the claw machines and he squeezed
round the side of the glass and told me where
to aim, even though we agreed they were
rigged anyway, we got one! A tiny bear with a bottle
chain and a love-heart shaped nose and we went
into an antique shop where they had old postcards,
and although the waves were
becoming agitated, we
climbed the cobb, the high wall, protecting
the town from the break/we wanted to be silhouetted
against the vehement waves to pretend
to pretend 
and I’d always thought about falling
I slip


fell

and I see him watching me. When I revisit that day he walks on the same steps, I fall, he swings around and always looks back to see if I’m watching. I am. He’s the one that replays, every time I fall, rediscover the last pieces, he’s there as I fall. The wind heightening our exhilarated, unbridled laughter. But he’s the one I lose sight of as I fall. It’s for him I grieve

and then I remember that the one who is lost is me, I fell.
all that could be is confined. I repeat
the last of life I knew. Falling. He carried on, whether he liked it or not and where I am


is here in vacancies of air. sealed/ plunged, unbeknownst someone takes a photograph from a high-up hill faraway. A picture for a postcard, life snaps insouciant. That’s where I am, framed, captured, stilled, with a past tense scrawl on the other side, done, addressed, delivered, disappearing copper coins, and froth, winter railings, laughter. Wind slapped cheeks on my eldest day

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RESEMBLANCES (January 2020)

an art and poetry exhibition in collaboration with Esme Lansdowne, Ed Hanley, Keith Allen and Halycon Neumann

Home; I. The place where a person or animal dwells. ( extract from spoken word performance by Charlotte Hampshaw looped into sound architecture by Halycon Neumann)

 the definition – images of structure, an base grounded turning upwards, terraced dwellings, ceilings – a room decorated, furnished with material objects, softing, felled, carved, collected. Home was a shoebox with opposing walls, postcards, scrawling writing, home was a to-do – unfinished inside, pebbled by context, subjective, subjected to touch – home as speaking, pools of annunciation, the constructed conversation, the orchestration of breath, unlit, home was formed by orderly verbs, working, doing, footfall in tandem; home was preferred - home sprawled out to encompass, paths, crisp frost, iced dew drops, hot earth on an arid day, moisture, humidity at night, sounding of a hidden stream simpering to sea, babbling cottages, villas, tiles, shutters, hot darkness, wall sweats faced away from the dreamer – seasons, a piece of work, home was an assortment of ambitions which happily remain imaginings – home built into garments, frames, photographs, identity inscribed onto skin – home was an accessory of colour and painted – home was a solace from a bare stringed wallet – or excessive. Home was an innovation, recessive, enterprise, impressing and withdrawn, speculative. Home was aloof, cold out of body, homes that are absent, vacant, disused – unable to be seized or stretched to any single experience – home was rewritten memories, altered and tailored, fitting the audience – at home on a dancefloor – purple lights and smoke – amber street lights and the sea, fractals on the wave. Homing inhibitions released, home encumbered by nothing – home as scaffolding – Home was becoming momentum. Home was a window. The space installed within every structure, the transport, the past, the looking-glass. Home was beams of light and simultaneous shadow. I have not seen light like this. 

Home was a window.  window. window.