Welcome to our growing archive of Finding Blake blog posts. Like the films we are making, our posts are about giving voice to people from all sorts of creative fields who want to share ideas, views and inspiration around the relevance of William Blake today.
In other parts of A Blakean Archive, you can keep up with:
- Finding Blake’s films – interviews with poets, artists, scholars and many others about their relationship with Blake, the making and siting of Blake’s new gravestone, and more.
- Information that comes our way from other sources, including: past Blake-themed events; features, blog posts and other articles; details of books, music, films and other artefacts exploring or inspired by William Blake.
Want to write a post for us about the inspiration you find in William Blake’s work, or in work that others are doing inspired by him? Use the Contact page to let us know.
With Bognor Regis gearing up for its annual Blake-inspired arts festival tomorrow, Blakefest director Rachel Searle shares just a few of the highlights. Blakefest has become a unique cultural experience by the sea, featuring international art, poetry, political discussion panels. As Rachel says, "in all honesty, it's very pleasingly different and eclectic in its approach, and perfectly mirrors the creative magpie approach, showcasing the whole spectrum of art forms." 14th September 2018
Finding Blake is a project that explores the relevance of the work and life of William Blake to us, here and now. And what could be of greater relevance than the question of the balance between reason, experience and imagination in how we see ourselves, our world and its problems and promises? In this post, Kevin Fischer -- author of the book Converse in the Spirit: William Blake, Jacob Boehme & the Creative Spirit -- takes us to the heart of the matter. 3rd September 2018
Finding Blake welcomes songwriter and musician Roger Arias, whose Strange Mystery Flower adaptation of four of William Blake's poems featured in the Other Blakean Artefacts section of our Blakean Archive. Here, Roger describes how this musical project arose from his personal encounter with Blake's poems and from the journey these accompanied him on. 20th August 2018
Sunday 12th August 2018 saw the long-awaited gathering for the ceremony to unveil the new gravestone for William Blake. Finding Blake was there - filming, interviewing speakers and participants and taking part in the moment of communal respect for and reflection of this great artist, poet and visionary and his legacy for us. Here, Linda Richardson looks back on the day, and James Murray-White shares his short film from the day. 13th August 2018
As an accompaniment to our recent video teaser of William Blake's new stone finally in place at his grave in Bunhill Fields, we bring the story 'full circle' with this post and video from James Murray-White on his visit to the birthplace of that stone monument: Portland Head in Dorset. Here, beneath the 'grains of sand', is a place resonant with Blakean names: the Jordans Mine of Albion Stone. 10th August 2018
Finding Blake film maker James Murray-White was on site at Bunhill Fields to record the setting in place of William Blake's new stone. Here is a tiny teaser to promote the ceremony at the graveside this coming Sunday, 12th August 2018, when the world will finally be able to see the new gravestone for William Blake in all its glory. Many years in the planning, six months in the making, and now lying regally over the bones of Blake and others. 9th August 2018
Finding Blake gratefully received an enquiry from Eric Nicholson, offering us a glimpse of his draft book on William Blake and Personal Awakening. Eric is a practising Zen Buddhist and a retired art teacher. We wanted to share some of his insights and reflections with our readers; the book should appeal to anyone interested in Blake and to readers interested in personal growth. Here is an extract from the introduction and the first chapter. 31st July 2018
We welcome Gareth Sturdy, a trustee of the Blake Society, where he has a special interest in bringing the poet’s work into schools and was part of the team responsible for laying the new monumental stone at Blake’s grave. In his Finding Blake post, Gareth shares five scenes with Blake, illustrating his own story of this great poet and how the man and his work have reappeared throughout his life. 26th July 2018
Finding Blake welcomes back artist, musician, illustrator, songwriter and poet Salli Hipkiss, with a new poem – Another Jerusalem – and her account of the inspiration for this work in dream, and in the work and wisdom of Blake and other thinkers and writers. 16th July 2018
We're excited to welcome another new voice to Finding Blake. James Fox shares the story of his accidental discovery of William Blake and, through his works, the key to a treasure that is a vision of the future - of humanity at home in the world. 9th July 2018
Finding Blake's creator and film maker James Murray-White has been following the careful and painstaking process of creating the new gravestone for William Blake's final resting place. Here he reports on the moment as the final letter is cut and stone nears completion under the hands of Lida Kindersley. 4th July 2018
To accompany last week's reading of The Tyger by Matt Ray Brown, artist Linda Richardson shares her experience working with Year 4 pupils to bring to life their responses to the poem. This classic poem from William Blake the storyteller never fails to engage the imagination! 29th June 2018
For the fourth of our readings from Blake's poems, actor Matt Ray Brown performs The Little Black Boy. Our recording of this poem from The Songs of innocence and Experience was filmed by Finding Blake's Jonnie Howard at Blake's South Molton Street home. 26th June 2018
The third in our exclusive series of actor Matt Ray Brown reading William Blake's poems is The Tyger - perhaps the most famous of Blake's poems, alongside the 'hymn' version of Jerusalem. As with the other sessions in this series, filmed by Finding Blake's Jonnie Howard, Matt was performing The Tyger in Blake's flat at South Moton Street in London, adding an extra magic to these films. 18th June 2018
Finding Blake's James Murray-White says "It has been a wonderful journey to be closely involved with the production of this new gravestone honouring William Blake, and it is only part way through! It is an intricate, intimate knowledge of a process. I’m filming it, and I hope I can also convey the pleasure I’m having in visiting once a week or so, talking and listening through each stage, and recording it, and making short clips to illustrate it." 16th June 2018
We continue our special series of exclusive readings of some of Blake's poems. Like the others, this video of actor Matt Ray Brown reading The Human Abstract - filmed by Finding Blake's Jonnie Howard - was recorded in William and Catherine Blake's South Molton Street home in London. 12th June 2018
Niall McDevitt is a walking artist who specialises in the revolutionary poets of London, particularly Blake, Rimbaud, Shakespeare and Yeats. Who better, then, for Finding Blake to ask to share a post with us on finding William Blake on the streets? 7th June 2018
This month Finding Blake launches a series of eight short video posts featuring readings of some of Blake's poems. We start the series with Matt's powerful reading of Jerusalam, Blake's most famous poem. We took actor Matt Ray Brown to London to film him reading these in Blake's flat in South Molton Street. In this exclusive series, filmed and sound recorded by Finding Blake's Jonnie Howard, we showcase eight pieces - some well known, some not so well known - and delight in that they are being read probably in the very place they were written! 5th June 2018
James Murray-White reflects on the enduring, but shifting, resonance of Blake's famous lines on Jerusalem for visions of 'England's green and pleasant land.' His choice of this iconic poem also introduces the launch of Finding Blake's series of powerful readings of this and other Blake poems, which we recorded in Blake's house in South Molton Street, London. 1st June 2018
Finding Blake is delighted to welcome artist, musician, illustrator, songwriter & poet Salli Hipkiss, who has very generously offered a poem. Modest Things brings her life-long love of William Blake to her growing concern with the problems of climate change and other environmental threats to human and other life. 24th May 2018
Our latest contributing author, storyteller, writer and educator - Marion Leeper reflects on her childhood, teenage and adult encounters with William Blake through two of his paired poems from Songs of Innocence and of Experience. 17th May 2018
Artist Linda Richardson describes a recent Finding Blake visit to the workshop where William Blake's new headstone is being created by a master of the craft. "I recently had the great privilege of visiting Lida Cardozo Kindersley. She had begun to lay out the words on the Blake stone and James had come to film the process." 14th May 2018
In this post, Finding Blake founder James Murray-White shares some of his encounters with William Blake, from childhood up to the present, including the recent Blake in Sussex exhibition at Petworth House. 8th May 2018
In the first of our series of posts by Finding Blake's contributing writers, artists and scholars, poet Clare Crossman reflects on William Blake's poem London, from Songs of Innocence and of Experience. 29th April 2018
To launch our new page of Finding Blake films - part of A Blakean Archive - and as the first of a series of mini-posts on the growing library of films we're producing for the project, here is a short clip of Testament talking to James Murray-White in London, the city that was home to Blake for almost all his life. 17th April 2018
For the launch of Finding Blake on a day which is coincidentally both Easter Sunday and April Fool's Day, artist Linda Richardson considers the need for William Blake today - the "strange, startling and deeply unsettling" figure who "saw the human inclination we have to limit our lives" and urges us to wake up. 1st April 2018
To kick off our new Finding Blake website, project creator James Murray-White reflects on what inspired him to create the project and invite others to join him in celebrating the vision of William Blake, a uniquely British radical. 1st April 2018