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Liz Lochhead opens new exhibition ‘Competent at peever’

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Liz Lochhead with some of her latest artwork

By Karen Thomson

SCOTLAND’s Makar Liz Lochhead will open her exhibition ‘Compent at peever’ tonight at the Street School Museum in Glasgow.

This will be the poets first visual art display in over 40 years and has been inspired by her schooldays and years at university.

Lochhead who attended Glasgow School of Art will have her work on display in the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed building which will include images created by the poet in 1968.

The title of the exhibition is drawn from one of the writer’s best known works, Poem for My Sister, with “peever” being the name for hopscotch when Lochhead was a young girl.

The work is set out in the style of a classroom

The work is set out in the style of a classroom

Lochhead was born in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, in 1947 and her family moved to a council house in the nearby mining village of Newarthill in 1952.

Speaking ahead of the opening she said: “If you are 65, like me it is a whole 60 years since I have been at primary school. I have returned to it a few times. I have written things at different times in my life but I thought I am a poet.

“I was thinking about how much writing there is on art exhibitions nowadays and a lot of it is of terrible quality. Whereas a poem is something full of images. They may only be on the wall up there in black and white but the viewer has to make the images for themselves.

“Memory is collage. The sentences that are up on the walls are my attempts at doing it. The other strand in that is that I would love to be able to draw as fiercely as a five year old again. That’s what idolises childhood and creativity.”

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