The Beastly and Mr Beam

I am some degrees beyond excited. Indeed much closer to bursting-with-creativity like a dam about to haemorrhage a torrent. The sublime Jeffery Beam had agreed to be my collaborator on Beastly Passions. We discussed the poetry he might pen to accompany my images, which take as their theme the darker, Penny Dreadful realms of Staffordshire pottery groups, in which unspeakable doings such as murders by brutes and savagings at the sharp-ends of escaped menagerie beasts, were commemorated in naive imagery straight from the world of the Regency toy theatre. I had made a tiny, postcard-size drawing of ‘Tipu’s Tiger’ as a starting point, and Jeffery had been moved by it. He has since written a poem which has my mind spinning into delirium at the sheer, heartrending beauty of it. I cannot share it yet, or indeed any time soon, as this project won’t come to fruition until 2016. But here, to tantalise, a tiny fragment of what Jeffery has today presented to me: That terror could have a pelt so sheened and orange So like a tower at dusk on a precipitous cliff Ocean below rushing to otherwise From The Kiss: Tipu’s Tiger, by Jeffery Beam We are up and away, Mr Beam and I, and the creative riptide is tugging us far out to sea. We may be absent for some time, but we shall return with treasures.

Below: preparatory sketch for Beastly Pleasures. Woman slain by an escaped tiger and her baby eaten.

15 thoughts on “The Beastly and Mr Beam

  1. You sound giddy with all this creative stimuli Mr Hicks-Jenkins! What a wonderful way to be. You know how much I am looking forward to your “Beastly Passions” project, so I very much enjoyed taking a small peep at what is to come from Jeffery Beam. It then comes as the icing on the cake to find out that another artist wants to model your modern day Staffordshire creations, which I was crossing my fingers and hoping might happen. All this excitement is definitely contagious…

    • I threw many balls into the air expecting most to come crashing back down around my head. But not so. There they are, all circling in a constellation of their own making, and here I am, gazing in wonderment while puzzling over what it is that keeps them all up there!

  2. How very exciting! Don’t burst yet Clive! Can’t wait to see all your new projects come to fruition. How do you manage it all ?!

  3. WOW! Words and images together are such a fabulous marriage…..and it’s obvious from that tantalising little glimpse that your images and Jeffery’s words are a match made in heaven! I have far too many books on Staffordshire figures…and a lovely one of Fairings (poorer quality stuff in many ways but with wonderful titles like ‘Mr Jones…remove your hat!’ and ‘For heaven’s sake, Maria, give us a rest’). This feels like a wonderful collaboration…..can’t wait to see the end result x

    • Like you I have too many Staffs books, though right now I’m rather glad I do. (Fairings, how enticing. Right up my street. I have a German Fairing that once sat on the mantel-shelf of the room where my father was born!)

  4. Your creativity knows no bounds! Is there no holding you? How many projects are you working on at the moment? Anyway, it’s wonderful to witness the flow of artistry and energy , and to be party to tantalizing snippets on the artlog. I love the drawing and the poet’s lines are beautifully evocative, even though there are only three. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get Staffordshire potteries (do they still exist?) to make a series of your designs, oh dear that’s another project… xxL

  5. Dear Clive. It’s so good to feel these beastly urges with you, these Penny Dreadfuls. Full of dread; worth far more than any penny. I bless the day Marly Youmans connected us, and your openness to our mutual growling.

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