Photo: Ben Raine

How do we commemorate what’s been lost as we start to take tentative steps out of lockdown? What do we want to hold onto and grow? What positive changes can we make to society and the natural environment as we recover from the pandemic?

These are the questions posed to the public through a creative art installation coming to Ashford this summer.

Created by renowned artists Robert Montgomery and Deanna Rodger, the Recovery Poem is a giant light poem that will visit several public spaces in Ashford throughout July and August, inspiring people to reflect and take stock of all that has happened over the last 18 months.

As Ashford starts to look to the future and restrictions ease, the poem will form part of a set of mini events in and around Ashford town centre hosted by Loveashford to mark the start of a new chapter.

Where can I see the Recovery Poem?

· July 17 – Ashford Bandstand, 1-8pm

· July 31 – Hubert Fountain, Victoria Park (1-4pm) and Elwick Place (5-8pm)

· August 14 – Hubert Fountain, Victoria Park (1-4pm) and Elwick Place (5-8pm)

Complementing the arrival of the Recovery Poem will be the initiation of the Fabric of Ashford, a community-based textile project that will see the town centre beautifully decorated over the late summer months and into early autumn.

The poem’s co-creator, poet and spoken word artist Deanna Rodger says of its unique presence: “This collaborative poem began with a conversation between strangers. Robert and I, not knowing each other before, conversed specifically and candidly about where we are at now (family, work, sense of home) and where we have come from; our family history and upbringing. This lent a consideration to our writing of ‘what happens next?’ How we hold this global experience, what we root it in and how we make sense of it to retell it.

“I hope strangers meet the Recovery Poem and are encouraged by it to write and share their stories of this time.”

For more information about the Recovery Poem, visit: https://www.eea.org.uk/what-we-do/light-nights/recovery-poems/

By Ed