john furnival (1933 - 2020)

A few years ago I co-edited a new anthology of visual poetry and the first name on the list for inclusion was John Furnival. Not only had John defined the landscape for British concrete poetry, he had continued to produce so much exciting work well into the 2000s. I spent a wonderful afternoon with John and Astrid, selecting from the artworks which were all over the house, on the walls, in books, in drawers. John's art and life were as one, he was a visionary and the world will be a little dimmer without him. On that afternoon John generously donated some works for the National Poetry Library collection in London, where I work, and those works are now held with the original pieces from the 1960s and 1970s, for future generations to access. For as long as humans have an interest in how images and words collide - which will be forever - John's work will fascinate, intrigue and delight everyone who looks at them.

john furnival, 'statue of liberty' (1977-78)


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