Creative response

RÊVE will ultimately include a collection of modern creative responses in various media to Romantic places and objects. The collection is intended eventually to include verse, but also a micro-story, an imaginary conversation between objects, an unrealised statue, a piece of textile-art, a virtual graffito, a photograph, a painting, a soundscape, a piece of ceramic, a site-specific temporary installation/performance, and even a walking route. Such responses sit in a long tradition of verse, travel-writing, album-making, sketches, paintings, and music that take Romantic places and objects as their stimulus. There is quite a lot of information about the history of this habit already scattered throughout RÊVE, in particular in the collections called ‘Romantic Authorship’ and ‘The Romantic Tourist’. And now we would like to invite you to join in and bring your own imagination to the vivification of the Romantic.

Begin by reading the introduction to RÊVE, look at the detailed guidelines for preparing a creative exhibit, and then spend some time exploring the exhibition and its collections more widely to get a feel of its purposes, contents, style, and arguments. In particular, you are trying to get a sense of what might still make a place or object ‘Romantic’ for moderns – this might sum up quite a lot of RÊVE’s own investigation. Finally, look carefully at this example of a creative response to a piece of research – start with the exhibit ‘Goethe’s hair’ and then look at the poem of the same title. Once you have done that, you are ready to join in.

First of all, identify and research ONE of the following:

EITHER a Romantic location (this could be near where you live, or a place which you would like to visit, or one which has now disappeared but you would have liked to visit or even an imaginary place like Coleridge’s vision of Xanadu)

OR a Romantic relic (something that you know exists, or once existed — you may or may not have actually seen it)

Before starting out on your creative response, you might like to think about your location or relic as you might were you writing a research post. Start with some questions. Typically, these might be: What is this object/place? Where is it? What is its history? In what ways and to whom has it been important? To attempt to answer them, you will need to deploy some research techniques. These might include: exploring a museum’s online catalogue and/or conducting internet searches for related images, mentions of the object or place and people associated with it.

You could also choose an object in RÊVE on which there is already a research post and write your own creative response.

Now decide what form your creative response is going to take. If you choose to write something, then simple text will do, and we suggest an absolute maximum of 1000 words; but if you decide to make something, you will need to provide an image.

Finally, write a few sentences (not more than 200 words) reflecting on the choices you made and, if appropriate, the creative technique(s) you used.

If you feel short of ideas for new posts, take a look at some of the suggestions here to spark your imagination