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My Gold Arts Award experience

My Gold Arts Award experience

It has been a truly sensational experience to have pursued the project of doing the Gold Arts Award. I can not thank Sarah Scott (and everyone else who supported me along the way), with completing this amazing achievement that still feels unreal, in all honesty!

The opportunity came just before 2020 and the rude interruption of Covid, but nonetheless me and Sarah still managed to continue working, virtually and when we went through the opening and closing of all the three lockdowns. I have worked with some amazing people. It has been a brilliant thing for me, to think more about making important decisions and taking in advice to empower the way I worked as a leader. As well as evaluating my actions and the decisions I had had to make with regards to thinking logically and adaption.

Having published my book, and seeing my work in physical form is an unbelievable prospect to grasp. This is a huge milestone in the way I have been inspired by all the other avenues it has led me down. Including getting involved with Telltales as well as being a group member of the Falmouth Poetry Group. I have also met some other poets who I have made friends with, so it has expanded my world in such a variety of ways and it has all come together so perfectly, it is quite astounding to comprehend.

My future is to keep writing and share my work locally. I will continue being the poet in residence at the gallery for the foreseeable and I will encourage others to visit and perhaps get involved if they have any art that they wish to share. Thank you to everyone: Sarah, Oliver, Tamsin, Glyn and Henrietta who all played their part in bringing together the various  aspects of what I could never have believe to be possible. As well as everyone else who helped with putting my book together, such as: Martyn Ridgewell, the graphic designer and David Devanny, Tremough university lecturer, who coached me with the manuscript.

I will always see this programme as an honourable landmark in my life. I want to say to other artists: please take up this opportunity. It will really engage you and hugely increase your skills and knowledge in not just how you deliver or create your art form, but finding your place in the world.

Thanks once more,

Tom Retchford 

A digital copy of the final book.

Images from Tom’s launch event

"We've enjoyed having Tom's contributions to the exhibitions in the last testing year and it has been lovely to see his confidence growing and to see him join other poetry and writers forums like the Falmouth Poetry Society and TellTales and now the publication of his first book 'The Outside Room' - Well done, Tom!"

Henrietta Boex (Director – Falmouth Art Gallery)

Thanks to funding from Cornwall Museums Partnership and Arts Council England. Gold Arts Award is an initiative from Trinity College.