a volunteers account


When having to complete a creative task set for you by someone else perhaps it is best to be taken by surprise. The organisation Artlink is very good at producing ‘Oh!’ and ‘Ah!’ moments. I have had many over my time as a volunteer. As it brings together diverse collections of people and places to find creative ways for individuals to be involved in their communities, Artlink seems to value the generative, restorative element of surprise.

 Recently I’ve been involved in a collaborative project between Artlink, the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh and the poet Ken Cockburn. Using the thoughts of visually impaired clients as a starting point, Ken wrote the poem ‘Pandora’s Light Box’ about the Talbot Rice’s three rooms. The wonderfully incantatory poem for two voices will be installed in the gallery to provide a sense of the place for visitors. The sense of place it provides goes beyond anything one might physically be able to see while in the gallery. Instead, if I can risk putting it so vaguely, the poem deals in invisible sights. As it describes historical moments in the life of the building, the poem calls each listener to build in their mind’s eye places substantial and complex.

This is taken from a blog post, written by an Artlink volunteer describing Pandora’s Light Box and her involvement in the project  You can read the full account here.


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