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Firedreams, Ben Okri and Rosemary Clunie - Bomb Factory Marylebone

An exhibition of WordArt - large scale paintings and sculptural obstructions.


PRVATE VIEW: Thursday 30th March, 6-9pm


The Bomb Factory is pleased to present Firedreams, the first major collaboration between author Ben Okri (1991 Booker Prize winner) and artist Rosemary Clunie.



The scale of this raw space in central London makes this a rare opportunity to view these paintings and installations in situ for the first time, each a unique dance between image and poetry, form and concept, colour and dream. Complex combinations of text and composition characterise tall canvases addressing the histories and connections between people and landscapes, myths and utterances.


Wide, horizontal single-word works are qualified and challenged by sculptural obstructions, while works on paper combine wit and colour with abstract form. These are part of an ongoing adventure to bring the powerful subconscious urges of art into greater, freer and more rigorous interaction with one another, exploding the power of dream into the structured world of the real.


The collaboration between Ben Okri and Rosemary Clunie started many years ago with a shared philosophy that the worlds of art and literature needed new explorations. Having both worked together on a book of paintings and stories in 2017, entitled The Magic Lamp, they began to paint together, combining symbols and words in a new alchemy. These have been exhibited at Frieze, the Royal Academy, and informally at the Royal Overseas League. Blurring the boundaries between the two worlds of literature and art led to the creation of a new conceptual form, which Ben Okri describes:

“The image stops the mind in a harmonic stasis. The word arouses the mind in a dynamic stasis. What happens when you fuse both energies? Does it bring two routes, two trees of civilisation together to yield new fruits of the soul? WordArt is the hope of a new revolution – the exchange of fire and earth, the implosive drama of origins, a new creative fetishism. It also explores the political, the playful, and the spiritual dimensions of the artistic possibility.”


Their recent collaborations have also been angled towards the urgency of the climate crisis, inspired by their faith that art can illuminate the crisis and the possibilities for change. Alongside the exhibition, there will be a rich public programme of poetry readings, dance performances, and an educational program that focuses on climate through art workshops.





The Bomb Factory, following a recent period of expansion, now has four sites across Central London. We support over 100 artists by providing affordable studio spaces, whilst simultaneously running a comprehensive programme of cultural events for the public, as well as free educational workshops and mentoring for young people in our communities.


We do hope you can join us at this exciting event in this truly fantastic new location.




PV: 30th of March, 6-9pm


Open: 30th March - 10th April

Mon - Sat 12 to 7pm or by appointment


The Bomb Factory Marylebone,

206 Marylebone Road, London NW1 6JQ

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