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Yarns from the lanes

Wednesday, 28th February, 2018

Writer Graeme Gibson in front of the Grand Guesthouse Courtyard gallery preparing for his Little Literature in the Lane. Writer Graeme Gibson in front of the Grand Guesthouse Courtyard gallery preparing for his Little Literature in the Lane.

By Emily Roberts

Graeme Gibson is a man of many words and is back in Broken Hill to bring those words to life with the help of locals.

The writer is back in the city for an artist in residency with the Broken Hill Art Exchange.

“This is my third time in Broken Hill,” he said yesterday.

“I run something called Littler Literature where poets, writers and people who like playing with words give responses to artwork, places or events that could be real or imagined.

“There is no exclusion.”

Graeme has brought ‘Little Literature in the Lane’ to Broken Hill.

Little Literature in the Lane is an opportunity for writers, poets and anyone interested in playing with words to tell stories of life in the lanes of Broken Hill. This is for locals and visitors alike.

Broken Hill is a city of lanes. These lanes have been the place of ordinary day-to-day activities, such as billy cart races and hanging the laundry. They have also seen less ordinary events such as floods, parties, police chases and two-up games. 

Broken Hill is also a city of stories and a city with a long, strong and growing arts culture. 

There is an intention to establish a permanent Literature Lane to celebrate Broken Hill’s poets and writers along with stories that have been told about Broken Hill. 

“I grew up in Adelaide and I came to Broken Hill a couple of times with my parents.

“My parents came up to play the pokies - I can remember them doing it twice.

“A few years ago I was sitting in Bells Milk Bar and it all came back to me.

“I really like the space and sky.”

Little Literature in the Lane will be a prelude to the Literature Lane. It is anticipated that some of the stories may find their way into the permanent collection of Literature Lane. 

“I’ve had one story told to me about a man and his brother who used to sneak off for cigarettes down the lane when they were younger,” Graeme said.

“He told me how they would stir up a small, yappy dog and one day it got out and chased them down the lane.

“It bit his brother on the backside and got its teeth lodged in his shorts.

“The stories could be whimsical and humorous or philosophical and serious.”

Little Literature in the Lane will take place in the Courtyard Gallery of the Grand Guesthouse, entrance off Argent Lane, on Saturday, March 3.

While there is some focus on this area of Crystal Lane, stories that relate to any of Broken Hill’s 28 lanes are welcome. 

Stories may be in poetry or prose (free writing) and while these will be based on people’s recollections, an element of imagination is welcome.

Workshops to help participants develop and then install their stories in the gallery will be held on the March 3, with a choice of either 10am to 12.30pm or 1.30pm to 4pm. These workshops will be in the Grand Courtyard Gallery.

“It’s a fun thing, people see other stories and maybe can add to them,” Graeme said.

For those people who may like additional time or support to research and develop their story an earlier workshop will be upstairs in the archives room of the city library today, February 28 from 1pm to 3.30pm. 

People can come to any of these workshops for as long or as little as they need during these times.

It is free for members of the Broken Hill Art Exchange ($12 to sign up for a membership) and $15 for non-members.

Workshop participants may like to bring a photo or some other memorabilia to support their story. Stories will be installed in the gallery on a variety of materials including cloth, paper and various recycled materials.

Following the installation on Saturday, a launch will be held at 6pm in the Courtyard Gallery of the Grand Guesthouse. Refreshments will be available and story creators will be invited to talk about their work. The installation will be in place for one week.

WHAT: Writing workshop

WHEN: Today, February 28 from 1pm to 3.30pm

WHERE: Library Archives

WHAT: Little Literature in the Lane

WHEN: Saturday, March 3 (10am - 12.30pm, 1.30pm - 4pm and opening at 6pm)

WHERE: Grand Guesthouse Argent Lane


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