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‘i-read’ with sculptures: ‘Vent’ collective

Image of Christine Sweetman
Christine Sweetman

Over the last 2 years since moving to the magical Dartington I found myself doing lots of short walks from my house. I’m blessed with a wonderful field across the road which I have walked in through the year and watched the seasons changing the scape of the land. Initially I walked with my rescue dog and so was in the flow of her determined course.


I started to take little snap shots of bushes and trees, (an obsession) and roads and strange objects that I would see or observe. All the images were on my phone, my large camera is a bit too heavy. As I took the picture, text and lines would start to download, scrabbling in my bag for a pen forgetting I could record it on the phone, I would rush home and get my poem onto paper!

Acer Red

  • Acer, Acer red, how art thou?Image of Red Acer tree leaves
    I’ve decided to stop dying my hair red.
    What! But you’ve always said you would dye your hair on your
    I’ve turned 64. Will you still love me when I’m grey?
    Hair colour is such an important part of our sexiness.
    Grey is; you are nearer dead than take me to bed, Red.
    Does it?
    Or will a sharp edgy estupendo cut save my life?
    Christine Sweetman © 2023


It’s been an extraordinary bout of creative flow and made even more poignant and pressing as my sweet dog was put to sleep during this writing period. My work has always been about exploring my emotions and reactions. I hope by exposing my losses and changes in my life it can encourage the audience to look at their own.

Come and see our works. Talk to us, leave your one word response, take time to read the poems & be taken in by the powerful sculptures.


A Sculpture from the Vent collective by Richard Goldsmith MRSSMore from Richard Goldsmith MRSS
A few years ago, I heard the novelist Kazuo Ishiguro say the following words on receiving an award for his creative output: “Stories are about one person saying to another, this is the way it feels to me, can you understand what I am saying? Does it also feel this way to you?“.

These words had a profound effect on me, in giving literal form to a way of defining why we create. For me it talked of finding a collective space to share the experience of being human in all its many forms; A collective space for sharing and seeking common experience and understanding, a space that has the power and energy to connect us. The ‘Vent’ series alludes to this. The release or expression of strong emotion and energy. An outlet. To share a feeling. And may be, to find connection; an acknowledgement of something shared in the human space.

Vent at Birdwood House

Birdwood House will be hosting The Vent Collective from 25th to 2nd March

A series of small works combining industrial engineering and the human form, seeking to explore beyond traditional forms of representation.
The works in the Vent Collective series attempt to elevate functional elements observed in the real world. Re-interpreting and embodying them with new meaning.
Vent’ can be read in different ways; an opening that allows something to pass out of or into a space; to make known what one thinks or feels; a strong inner compulsion to express.

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