Sarah Williams – Workshop Participant 

Any initial doubts I had about signing up for this workshop, (mainly doubts about my own ability!), were soon dispelled once I joined the friendly group at the Pallant House Gallery brought together by Words Out Loud on that Saturday morning for some Ekphrasis writing.

Everyone was made to feel welcome into a very supportive environment provided by the workshop leaders, Deni & Mike. The developing guided tasks they provided meant we were able to gradually develop our writing skills in a fun and formatted way and at the same time build self confidence.

The space provided by the Pallant House Gallery was bright, airy and functional with a fine eclectic exhibition of artwork to draw inspiration from. At the end of the workshop we were all encouraged to chose any of the artwork to base a piece of written work on – “Ekphrasis = writing in response to art” – which could be in any written form, ie a poem, short story, fiction or non-fiction.

I chose two paintings that were on display alongside each other; one depicted a young girl on her wedding day, the other was of an older lady dressed in black that appeared to be looking thoughtfully towards the bride. It occurred to me that the older lady in the painting might talk to the younger bride and this was the result of that part of the workshop:

I remember my wedding day
A bright, sunny day in March
Yet a cold wind prevailed

You look so beautiful, so full of grace
Your face & expression hidden by your veil
Feeling nervous as you stand
In front of all these people
Your family and friends here to witness
You saying your vows to one another

A dream so full of hopes & promises
Of a bright future together

I wish you well

And here I sit
Dressed in black instead of white
Sensing a love now lost
And all the time hiding behind an unseen veil.