The St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum

StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, St Andrews, 2012

A curated exhibition of artists' books from the Centre for Artists’ Books,

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee

In conjunction with The Poem Pedlar who was out and about in St Andrews during StAnza collecting material for her blog



In tandem with The Poem Pedlar’s activity in St Andrews during the StAnza Poetry Festival, The Pedlar presented her selection of artists’ publications, from the Centre for Artists’ Books collection, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee and the artists’ own collections. A response to the StAnza 2012 theme, The Image, it considered the importance and relevance of the image in poetry, psychology, religion, visual art; and in particular to St Andrews’ significance in the history of photography. The exhibition was curated by Tracy Mackenna & Edwin Janssen with DJCAD MFA student Rowan Richardson working alongside as part of her Masters Placement. On show was a diverse range of printed material including work by Christian Boltanski, Diane Bertrand, Lawrence Weiner, Olaf Nicolai, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Pavel Büchler and others.

The curatorial process investigated The Pedlar’s concerns, highlighting issues of collaboration, language and translation, performative writing, relationships between image and text, visual publishing, participation and the public domain. The exhibition was arranged in five categories entitled ‘Loss and Objects’, ‘Road to an Idyll’, ‘Bookmarks and Other Stories’, ‘The Museum of Low Editions’ and ‘Where to go from Me’. Careful selection of printed material by leading artists highlighted how and why artists move between disciplines, whether there is an ethic in terms of how artists are expected to work with text, the aspects of literary work that are transferable to visual art media, why disciplines may be in conflict, the role of the analogue in a process of transmediation.


Working with StAnza’s second theme, ‘Poetry by Degrees’ as part of its educational expansion during the 600th anniversary celebrations at University of St Andrews, DJCAD’s Master of Fine Art students explored with Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen approaches to presentation, publication, curatorial practice, exhibition making and public engagement. Investigation through The Poem Pedlar and The Poem Pedlar’s Pearls gave insight into contexts within which platforms, technologies and strategies central to an engaged art practice and its research areas are made public, developing students’ understanding of, and ability to create and communicate visual and textual information relevant to their own practices.

In June 2013 we presented the paper 'Peddling Prints and Poems: activating the textual, the oral and the visual' on the interrelationships of the visual, text and storytelling, focusing on The Poem Pedlar and The Print Pedlar (part of WAR as EVER!). The presentation was accompanied by the gift to conference participants of a limited edition printed artwork.

Writing into Art, Strathclyde University and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 18th and 19th June 2013.

Visit The Poem Pedlar’s Blog

The Poem Pedlar

Centre for Artists’ Books