Dear Christine: A Tribute to Christine Keeler continues its run at the Elysium Gallery in Swansea with an evening of poetry this Saturday, as curator Fionn Wilson told Wales Art Review recently. An artist panel discussion will follow on October 26, and the exhibition will be on show until November 9. (If you can’t make it, Dear Christine will move to London next February.)
I did some research on the South Wales poetry scene, and though I wanted to work with female poets I didn’t want that to be at the exclusion of men. Patrick Jones was really keen to be involved and though I did directly approach a number of male poets a few of them spoke to me quite candidly, and to their credit, about not feeling that they were able to speak on behalf of Christine Keeler. I asked around the scene and I was really struck by the generosity that was shown between and to fellow poets, suggesting others who might want to be involved. A community spirit I found to be really quite refreshing and rare, a real sense of genuine camaraderie.
The event is preceded by a live performance of ‘I AM WHORE’ from Caroline Coon, the artist and counterculture icon. Caroline’s painting of her close friend, ‘Christine Keeler: Anger, Blame, Shame, Ruin, Grief’ (see below) was inspired by ‘Scandal ’63’, a lost work by another of her peers, Pauline Boty, and is also featured in the hardback book accompanying Dear Christine, now available at Elysium.