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Marble Surface
My Vlog
Biography
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About the Organiser

Looking back, for this brief biography, it feels as though my life has actually been one long creativity cruise through a kaleidoscope of art-forms. Fortunate enough to have experienced this, I'm now delighted to be able to offer a similar experience - albeit in miniature, through my teaching and projects. 

The youngest of four girls, I was born in Uganda to theatre-loving parents who were (literally - at the time) taking theatre around villages. Weaned on this and thereafter on Shakespeare and Eliot, our love of the arts flourished and on our return to the UK, I was fortunate enough to attend an unusually creative school, after which I went on to study Theatre and Performing Arts in London. Gradually my focus shifted to Mask-Mime and Mask-Making and from here it was a short step into the world of Sculpture where I remained for over 35 years.

I took a job as an assistant in a bronze foundry while developing my own sculpture and then moved to the Greek island of Rhodes for a decade and Turkey for a further year, building a body of work later to be shown in galleries across the UK. To earn sufficient for this, I worked sporadically as a therapeutic masseuse on private luxury yachts in the States and Southern Europe - precious time-off being spent in stuffy cabins scribbling poetry to save me from the dearth of Art in those gold-encrusted cultural deserts.

Returning to the UK, I showed and sold my work as well as teaching locally, running Sculpture Holidays in Greece and Creativity Cruises on board Turkish gulets.

Now, in my middle-years, happily settled in Somerset, (and having mercifully been slowed down a bit by the fatigue that comes with MS), it is song and poetry that are my main creative outlets, along with the annual organisation of a Creativity Cruise.

Here follows a selection of sculptures and poems I've produced over the years...

Sculpture

Sculpture
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My Story
Poetry
Follow Me

POETRY
 

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A Quiet Pool - on Meditation

 

There’s a hidden pool

at the very centre of it all,

behind the shrubbery

beneath the fallen leaves

and griefs,

beyond our thoughts and thorns

and if we’re still enough

we may sense

it's mirrored surface

reflecting everything

but our own reflection.

Do we dare to call this

something other than illusion?

dive inside

disappear

from everyday delusion,

reappearing merely as

ripple on the surface?

Do we have the courage

to let fall the fantasies

to which we desperately cling,

sink into the cool,

let it hold us,

call this real?

A River-Swim 

 

Entering as guests,

hearts stilled, 

thrilled by the sheer chill of it,

shocked again

at how we had forgotten.

Its silken skin

kissed by offerings

from bowing heads of grasses

skimming pollen

along the snaking green,

to the scatterings of fallen catkins,

while overhead 

a few white, downy feathers swing

from spider’s threads,

dancing in a pulse of sunlight

on the unseen side of trees.

The unseen side of things,

not to be forgotten, 

a symphony of indecipherable messages,

among which, maybe, 

is a “Welcome Home”.

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Kayakoy
 

Hazy in the sun

a village swelters

in its pelt of pine.

Secrets steeped in silence

in this ghost town,

locked away within in a century 

of crumbling walls and rust

and blood in dust.

 

Terraced houses 

rise tall, steep,

and fall into the valley,

only grasses stir,

doorways open into hollow rooms

and broken shutters gape now

where the eyes once were.

 

Not even the soft murmurings of bees

disturbs these generations.

Lost, the bright kaleidoscopic chaos

of their laughter  

of their gossiping and confidences

and of all the woven intermingling

of tongues and lives.

And Gods.

 

No colour here now, stones 

bleached white as bone,

except where,

in the spring,

among the grasses

as the hot winds blow,

a sudden splash of crimson

where the poppies grow.

 

 

Turkey 2023, the centenary of Attaturk’s forced eviction of Greeks from their homeland in Turkey.

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The Old Town 

 

Layer upon layer

of faces and of fragments 

and of fallen stones.

Marble images 

still vibrant with a life

they share now

with the laughing children

playing in the dust

of this old town.

 

I often walked those streets

passing women, 

still as shadows in their doorways,

darkened carvings, waiting somehow.

And I wondered if, 

beneath their feet,

other women, 

stiller still

and carved from whiter stone

were still waiting to be found.

Bone on marble,

layer upon layer, 

dust on dust.

 

And I remember too

the smiling, crooked man

trundling his cart,

his rounded back, 

his useless bric-a-brack

those tins and bells,

their hollow chimes

echoing medieval times,

reverberating through 

this labyrinthine heart,

pierced by this same light 

through sun-splashed vines,

uniting, as it one day also must,

this gathering of children

with their dust.

 

K.N. Rhodes 1996

Plant Shadows

Autumn

 

Now barely visible,

she’s pulled the covers

right up to her chin

and snuggled herself in 

amongst the ferns,

among the ragged ponies 

and the scattered sheep, 

among the softening

greys and mists

as evening twists

through filigrees of trees.

 

Let’s let her sleep.

And when she wakes

perhaps we could be gentler

with her? 

Kinder even?

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Stanton Stones

 

Old stones, rose tinged

against a temperamental sky,

pitted, lichen skinned,

holding stillness like a secret,

dignified in a frivolity of light.

 

Some standing tall, some fallen,

some, with shoulder to the wind

now leaning in,

their presence resonating,

long, low draw of bow

across the velvet of a cello string.

 

Here it was we met 

when the world went numb,

you in your bed, 

I with hand on stone

sending messages 

through it's frequency

and those of stars,

dissonant and harmonising,

crossing, crisscrossing 

across this planetary map, 

this place of worship, 

portal, living tomb.

 

And now you’re gone

and here I am again

as wild winds gust,

trying to un-learn,

searching still,

eternal, hopeless yearning

for some pattern that must

drive this vast, 

chaotic accident of dust

Butterfly Collage

The Garden

 

The garden wakes,

she shakes her secrets from the patchwork dawn

and stretching out a toe into the light,

she hides a yawn.

 

So night dissolves

and slowly dons it’s shadowy disguise,

hiding slyly in the trees,

mimicking their movements 

in the morning breeze.

Re-forming now as shadows, 

they will steadily unfold 

and, bold as brass,

they’ll soon be

stretching languorously

‘cross the lawn.

For now though, they are shy,

like timid children

staring after disappearing 

parents on a station platform.

 

Meanwhile, windows wink,

a trail of song is strung out on the air,

sounds of crockery in kitchen sinks

as last night’s mess is tidied under stairs.

And all along the street 

different coloured doors are opening

as migrant metal birds 

fly in from everywhere.

 

And so she waits,

content to pose for photos.

Practised now, she knows 

the watching world will not be here for long

then, all her shifting shadows can

in turn, shake free their day’s disguise 

and rightfully return.

 

For further poems you might consider buying this publication::

 

The Quiet Pool

Poetry by Kate Newlyn

This collection spans many years, from the 1990’s when I was living and working as a sculptor in Greece, up to the present day's more settled life, as a poet in Somerset.

 

Among these are explorations into the nature of consciousness and Mindfulness Meditation., alongside autobiographical musings on the atmospheres of places I’ve loved, while others are written from the grief of loss as well as the joys of living. 

 

The poems are illustrated with images of my sculptures or more recent collages, while a few have been left to simply speak for themselves.

The volume can be ordered directly from this website.

 

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