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.
Finding Blake creator and filmmaker James Murray-White shares a taste of a talk that he and poet Clare Crossman, a fellow Finding Blake contributor, gave on 19th October in Nenthead in Cumbria.
1st November 2019
Poet Clare Crossman was one of our first contributing authors at Finding Blake, and we welcome Clare back with her reflections on A Poison Tree, a key poem in William Blake’s work, published in Songs of Experience in 1794.
7th October 2019
Musician and songwriter Mick Stannard is 69 years old and has, in his words, “been doing music most of that time, in bands and solo”. Ever since an operation meant singing was no longer possible, he’s been recording instrumental albums, but when he recently came across his forgotten copy of Songs of Innocence and of Experience Mick wanted to set some of these poems to music — and asked Kate, his daughter, if she’d like to sing them. Their album, Visions of William Blake, was released earlier this year, and Mick and Kate Stannard now share their experience of working with Mr Blake.
2nd July 2019
Finding Blake welcomes Yana Trevail, an artist preoccupied with interconnectedness. Last November — at the Blake Society’s evening entertainments in honour of Blake’s birthday — Yana gave a talk on recent artwork she’d produced. Here is her presentation, as part of a lively occasion of art, poetry, music, drama, wit and dancing held in a pub off the Strand.
17th June 2019
Finding Blake creator and filmmaker James Murray-White checks in from a four-day retreat in Tewksbury, where he’s been Exploring the Divided Brain with fellow participants and been sharing Finding Blake.
12th June 2019
Robert Campbell Henderson — who has already shared his intriguing discovery of an unexpected French connection with the legacy of William Blake in two previous posts for us at Finding Blake — brings us up to date with his project to print the Blakean plates created by Serge Arnoux.
17th May 2019
Finding Blake creator and filmmaker James Murray-White takes us to the ongoing International Rebellion of people in London and other cities around the world, organising against ecological and climate emergency — and finds Blake there.
19th April 2019
In this series, James Fox has described psychological experiences he later came to understand through William Blake’s writings. The series is adapted from a talk James gave to the Mental Fight Club — a charity assisting recovery from mental illness through inspiring creative events and projects — and in this final part, he outlines Pantheisticon, a Blakean-inspired project he is working on for cultivating the experience of feeling at home in the world.
11th April 2019
Finding Blake creator and filmmaker James Murray-White announces a special public event and an exclusive film for our project, courtesy of award-winning poet Sasha Dugdale. Sasha’s recent poem Joy brings us the voice of Catherine Blake, wife to William Blake and ‘vital presence and assistant throughout his life’.
3rd April 2019
Finding Blake creator James Murray-White opens up our special sale of an original artwork — a painting created and donated by a long-term associate of the project, Linda Richardson. Linda has written many posts for Finding Blake — including Tyger School.
27th March 2019
In her previous posts, Adriana Díaz Enciso recalled how finding Blake on a family shopping trip out of Mexico sparked a series of puzzling encounters with the poet and artist and caused her to embark on her own Blakean novel. Ciudad doliente de Dios would take her from horrific events in Mexico to Blake’s London. Here, Adriana completes the series, discussing her role in the work of the Blake Society, the publication of her novel and the meaning of Blake’s art as both path and goal.
19th March 2019
In part 1, James Fox described psychological experiences that he later came to understand through William Blake’s writings as either manacled, ‘egoic’ states (Blake’s Satanic mills) or liberated, ‘mystical’ states (Blake’s awakened Albion). Here, James elaborates Blake’s doctrine of the four zoas. The series is adapted from a talk he gave in November 2018 to the Mental Fight Club – a charity assisting recovery from mental illness through inspiring creative events and projects.
6th March 2019
In her first two posts, Adriana Díaz Enciso’s discovery of William Blake in a Texan bookstore sparked a series of puzzling encounters with the poet and artist. Immersing herself in his work, Adriana also embarked on Ciudad doliente de Dios (‘Doleful City of God’), a Blakean novel which would take inspiration from horrific events in her own country, Mexico. Recovering from ill health and grief, she turned in a new direction: London. Here, Adriana recalls her experiences of an in-between world.
22nd February 2019
In Divine Madness James Fox described how he’d found in Blake’s work a poetic and visual representation of a psycho-spiritual philosophy that accounted for his own embroilment in the machinery and over-thinking of the rational ego, and the suffering that follows from that. He’d found in Blake glimpses of a consciousness freed from the egoic state. In the first of a new three-part series, James expands on his experiences of mental states and of universal awareness.
11th February 2019
In his first post, Robert Campbell Henderson shared his intriguing discovery of an unexpected French connection with the legacy of William Blake. Searching a scrap yard, he found a number of copper plate etchings by deceased French artist Serge Arnoux. At the time little was know about them; here, Robert provides an update on how things are progressing, as a prelude to sharing the full series of prints as a special Finding Blake gallery in a few weeks time.
1st February 2019
Writer and translator Adriana Díaz Enciso continues the story of her Blakean novel, Ciudad doliente de Dios, recalling her adventures breaking into Blake’s world — and Blake’s London: attempting to understand the writings, images and vision of a man she felt to be a free spirit with an instinctive leaning to the force of excess in art.
28th January 2019
We start the New Year with a timely update from Finding Blake creator and filmmaker James Murray-White. As well as looking back at our first year, a highly eventful journey and the successes for Finding Blake, James also shares a couple of sneak previews of what’s coming up next.
8th January 2019
Finding Blake welcomes another powerful voice to our explorations. Adriana Díaz Enciso is an author of poetry and fiction and a translator. In a compelling series of posts for Finding Blake — marking the publication of her Blakean novel, Ciudad doliente de Dios, in Mexico today — Adriana shares with us her remarkable journey from discovering Blake on a family trip to Texas, immersing herself in his work and her own in Mexico, the USA and London.
18th December 2018
Joseph Andrew Thompson is a composer, musician, writer and the creative mind behind the duo Astralingua. Their forthcoming album, Safe Passage, features their adaptation of William Blake’s poem A Poison Tree. This song is released today and Finding Blake is delighted to publish this account of its development to mark its release.
7th December 2018
Robert Campbell Henderson becomes our latest contributor, beginning a series of posts for Finding Blake with this intriguing account of an unexpected French connection with the legacy of William Blake, through an accidental discovery at a scrap yard…
19th October 2018
Six months on from our website’s launch, Finding Blake creator and driving force, filmmaker James Murray-White offers this update on work to date and to come, focusing on those elements which will form part of the full Finding Blake film next year.
12th October 2018
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