Gil Scott Heron At Southbank centre

Each artist in residence at Southbank centre invited one other artist to work with over  the past two weeks.  Each morning all artists had breakfast together at  Southbank and each evening a meal. Throughout the day we have collaborated in making art and engaged with Lambeth institutions.  My a poet from South Africa, Lebogang  Mashile. I have made a friend.  She is incredible.

It has been a momentous fortnight. We have been private audience to  TheArchbishop of Cantebury,   an ex head of MI6,   and of Kids Company CamilaBatmanghelidjh.   There’s been many others.     There’s  been performances and screenings   discussions and  creative experimentation. The role of theartist in residence is to engage and be engaged, to inspire and be inspired.   Those two tasks encapsulate the nature of living and of art.  The name for this two weeks is Collision.

Interesting things that have happened aside this:  yesterday I was in Soundtree  studios with Noel Fielding in Soho. We were recording stories from the astounding book SUM  written by David Eagleman. The whole Shebang was organised by  publisher Jamie Byng .   Here’s the connected breakingnews:   Gil Scott Heron will be coming to Southbank Centre in April on his European tour.    It is a highlight of my residency at Southbank that he will be performing in my home. His comeback was first announced nationally in my BBC radio documentary Pieces of A Man in march 2009 after visiting him in New York.

One of the highlights of Collision was a screening of my film Internal Flight.  It was an invited audience of friends and family.  Linton Kwesi Johnson came,  Jamie Byng,  Hardeep Singh Kholi, Duwayne brooks,   Becket actress Lisa Dwan,   actor David Morrisey and designer  Emma Wee and many,  many more. I can say on behalf of all, and to all,  that the screening and ensuing discussion were profoundly moving.  But the highlight of the night was when a dear friend and very successful film producer took me aside and confided that she was pregnant.  I shall be a Godfather.

 Collision was initiated and organised  by Jude Kelly the artistic director of Southbank centre. The artist in residence programme is made possible  by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.  The Artists in residence are  Simon Armitage, Bellowhead, Cape farewell, Oliver Coates, Jeremy Deller, David Dunkley Gyimah, Paul Morley, New Deal of The Mind, Shlomo, Gauri Sharma Tripathi Jane and LouiseWilson and I.

The invited participating artists are Penny Woolcock, Dave Clark, Mica Levi, Anna Minton, Mark Cousins, Will Montgomery, Colin Currie, Lebogang mashile,Jagdish Mistry Eyal Weizman and Shumon Basar.  I suppose a last piece of news is that artist in residence, and the folks on the desks next to mine,  New Deal of The Mind,  have just been awarded   £1.45,000,0000.   It’s good to be back at the blog.   Not sure how this one  sounds. I normally let it rest before uploading  but not this time.