Philip Davenport, poet

MY PAINTINGS ARE INVISIBLE, washing line poem. China 2009

Philip is the co-founder of arthur+martha CIC. Since 2007, he has co-directed with Lois Blackburn, making many-voiced testimonies with homeless people, Holocaust survivors, asylum seekers, older people. These works, constructed of poem and memory are paralleled with image and textiles, a growing history of marginalised people in Britain and beyond.

Philip’s press Apple Pie publishes books, CDs and catalogues documenting arthur+martha projects, along with works by many other poets and text artists from across the world.

Philip was first published by the poetic experimenter Bob Cobbing in 1999, and went on to curate exhibitions of Bob’s work, and Ian Hamilton Finlay, among many others, often for the Text Festival of poetry/art. Philip’s residency in China 2009-10 resulted in a series of large poster poems, hidden among the sheets on washing lines, commemorating “the people who go missing.” His 2013 poem/art anthology THE DARK WOULD included work by Jenny Holzer, Richard Long, Tacita Dean, Tom Phillips, Nja Mahdaoui, Lawrence Weiner, Susan Hiller and Shirin Neshat.

In 2016-18 Philip relocated to Berlin for his project with refugee children HOUSE WITHOUT WALLS, which received an award from the Mayor of Berlin. His current personal project HIMSELF IN EXILE gathers his own memories and those of other young people growing up in Northern Ireland during the civil war.

Philip edits the international visual poetry blog Synapse International, with the American poet and activist karl kempton.


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