/an excerpt from anthology "Curator Aquarum"
In every day terms we hardly knew each other. I met Regina and
Alexander in Jerusalem in 1993—at St. Peter in Gallicantu—
where the ’Cock Crowed Thrice’. Alex ran the bar and I was
outside painting the Holy City. Later I remember Regina here in
Brighton writing at the wooden table in my kitchen—wreathed in
a cloud of cigarette smoke.*
We didn't speak much each others languages but we
communicated through our better tongues—poetry and painting.
I made an inspired group of small drawings of her. ** And she
wrote a remarkable poem about me. She wrote it for an exhibition
I was about to have—’Impressions of Castles’—and it was printed
in the catalogue. In it she explores the inner and outer doings of
itinerant work. Most importantly for me was that she called the
poem ’Necessary Overseers’ which puzzled me until I understood
it—and shall always be grateful to her for a fresh vision of what
I have long believed.***
On reflection the Necessary Overseers are of course the Angels.
Not the beautiful winged creatures or heavenly messengers of
scripture—though they are those as well. Here they are seen as
the very life and being of the physical world—there is no reality
other than them. This is very like what my teacher David Bomberg
used to say to us that the artist must seek to catch the ’spirit in
mass’. ’Necessary’ because without them there is no reality—just
a waxworks of externals. And ’Overseers’ because we need their
help to experience this reality—Regina had this vision for sure.
For ’Necessary Overseers’—thank you Regina.
August 15, 2014
*For a bit more than a week, Regina and I stayed in Dennis
Creffield’s apartment in Brighton in
August of 2003. As the result of that short visit
to the UK, Regina’s long poem, “Archangelengland”,
appeared later that same year. Dennis was depicted
in the eighth section of this poem. —A. D.
** A group of a total of ten portrait drawings was made
by Dennis Creffield in 1994. A series of
fourteen drawings intended to illustrate Regina’s poems
for the book, Wintertime Lectures for
Terrorists, was also created. The themes
of these drawings, all of which are dated 1994, include the
Crucifixion, the Tower, the Star, and the Sea.
There is an inscription on the back of one of these
drawings—two lines from Yeats’ “Byzantium”, which are
evocative of the first conversation of
Regina and Dennis in East Jerusalem in 1993.
for Regina. 1994”
that gong-tormented sea” —A. D.
***Six of Regina’s books include paintings and drawings
by Dennis Creffield: one published in
Jerusalem, three in Sweden and two volumes of Selected
Poems and Essays, in Russia. Plus to the
above mentioned “Necessary Overseers”, Regina also dedicated
one of the poems in her book,
The Last Island, to Dennis. —A. D.