Behind The Scenes

Retracing Ribeiro

Retracing Ribeiro could not have been made possible without the help and support of so many wonderful people.

A Volunteer's Story


"After I went to the first Retracing Ribeiro event, Marsha invited me to volunteer. It was a bright surprise, because I hoped to do something involving art and creativity. As a keen photographer, I was asked to help document the contributions of individuals at the different art and reminiscence workshops, and assisted the team mounting an exhibition at the 2017 Bloomsbury Festival. I enjoyed meeting wonderful people, and contributing to the project, especially through my photographs. I felt happiness, sensed confidence and achievement, and found a peacefulness within myself.

Lancelot Ribeiro is a superb artist, and through his poems I feel more connected because I write poetry too. From his words, I understand his spirit and verve better, and how his poetic themes flow through his paintings and as a response, I created three poems inspired by his paintings, one of which is reproduced here. The painting Beastly and Beautiful is the portrait of a fantastic creature, and my poem tells the story of their creation.

Poetry writing for me is my solace and my delight. Whenever depression has cast deep shadows across me, poems become my remedy, my ally, and my liberation. Now, I create poetry for endeavour, adventure, and expression. I choose words for their sounds, sense and mood. In all, it brings both pleasure and wonder."

October 2017

For You Are The Night

(Inspired by Ribeiro’s Beastly and Beautiful, 1964)

She stood upon bruised tree stump, and
Stretched her pale arms into the night above.
Her extended talons cut the starlight, and
Sliced and ripped apart the skin of heaven.

Into the torso of the celestial infinite
Her hands plunged deep – scraping and scouring.
She gutted it, and from the silent cavity
She pulled down the darkness.

She clutched it tight to her body.
"There, there. Shine no more," she whispered.

She sprang to the ground and coursed away.
Across the ironstone highlands, she bound
Leaping from bare crag to bare crag,
Scattering sparks into the moonless expanse.

Into a remote dell she stepped, her race done,
To where a gnarled grove grew beside the solitude's mirror.
And with her lungs still burning, from twixt the yew roots
She plucked the sleeping mandrake.

She swaddled it in a cloak of mallow and sedge
Reaped from the mire thick about the shore.
Neath the twisted boughs, she cradled the infant,
Close to her breast, and closer to her cold heart.

All the while the darkness pulsed in her grasp.
Its pitch essence oozed and seeped and slid.
Droplets dripped and drapped to the ground.
The stung earth hissed and howled.

She brought the darkness to the new born's lips,
And it began to suckle and feed.
"There, there. Shine no more," she whispered,
"For you are mine. For you are the Night, my child."

by Priyaparvathi ferch Lawgoch
(Hydref 2017)

Image of Ribeiro's Beastly and Beautiful, 1964.

Beastly and Beautiful, oil and PVA on canvas, 1964.

A Volunteer's Story


Image of Carlota Montoliu, project assistant for the Retracing Ribeiro project.

"My experience on the Heritage Lottery funded project Retracing Ribeiro has been highly enriching in all aspects. I initially joined the team as a volunteer but was then promoted to project assistant.

It has been a lovely journey in which I have grown both professionally and personally. Having a background on curation, the two exhibitions (Camden Archives and Local Studies and St Georges Church for the 2017 Bloomsbury Festival) alongside other events I have been involved with, have allowed me to improve my management skills in a very practical way. I have also obviously broadened my knowledge on the artist Lancelot Ribeiro and as a consequence I am passionate about everything about him.

Nevertheless, the community work that the project has undertaken with workshops around London will always remain the part that has changed me the most. Before this project, I was not aware of how important it is to have a good education programme in an artistic project. Now my perspective has completely changed and I think that delivering the art to those who are experiencing difficulties in some way through enjoyable workshops is a must. Through the community workshops I have been fortunate to both improve my interpersonal skills and meet the loveliest groups of people – who were grateful to have these workshops brought to them.

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity that was given to me to be part of this exciting project team to whom I thank for making me always feel comfortable and indispensable project-wise."

Carlota Montoliu
Project Assistant