Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets held at the Wordsworth Trust Museum, Grasmere from May – November 2014 was very successful. And our Japanese colleagues/academics and the artists involved in the project felt strongly that the exhibition should now be shown in Japan. The Director of Kakimori Bunko has confirmed in writing the museum’s interest in showing the exhibition September – October 2015. And The Wordsworth Trust Museum is willing lend original William Wordsworth and Dorothy Wordsworth manuscripts to an exhibition of work there. The ambition to display original Wordsworth manuscripts alongside original Basho manuscripts now seems achievable; a very exciting prospect!
Naturally this provides an opportunity to deepen the engagement with Basho and his work and to commission for the show further selected Japanese artists to engage and respond to Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals and William Wordsworth’s poetry (especially as the gallery at Kakimori Bunko is over twice the size of the gallery at Dove Cottage). The artwork shown in the UK will be transported to Japan for the show and the core aims of the exhibition will be the same. However with the commissioning of new work from Japanese artists and the support of friends in the Japanese academic and arts constituency, we envisage a very distinct and special Japanese version of the exhibition and a new catalogue.
There is also the possibility of an International Symposium focused around the Walking Poets exhibition which would take place at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies.
We now have four very prestigious patrons supporting the project: Sir John Boyd, Sir David Warren and Dr Saeko Yoshikawa, Associate Professor of Kobe City University of Foreign Studies and Professor Kazuhiko Kazaya, of the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies. And we are now approaching trusts and companies now for support to make this exciting project happen.