The Edwin Morgan project


An Art collection inspired by a poem

There were never strawberries
like the ones we had
that sultry afternoon
sitting on the step
of the open french window
facing each other
your knees held in mine
the blue plates in our laps
the strawberries glistening
in the hot sunlight
we dipped them in sugar
looking at each other
not hurrying the feast
for one to come
the empty plates
laid on the stone together
with the two forks crossed
and I bent towards you
sweet in that air
in my arms
abandoned like a child
from your eager mouth
the taste of strawberries
in my memory
lean back again
let me love you

let the sun beat
on our forgetfulness
one hour of all
the heat intense
and summer lightning
on the Kilpatrick hills

let the storm wash the plates

Edwin Morgan 1968

Step by step illustration of a Wild Strawberry - Lizzie Harper

During lockdown, my lovely friend Ruth Gilchrist, Poet and Word Lark, came to me with me a proposal.

Looking for a startup idea? – Mentorphile

That we apply for a joint commission for an Artist’s Collaboration Project based on the poet Edwin Morgan.

Remembering Edwin Morgan – Voice for Arran
And his poems…

Particularly taken by his methodology of scrapbooking, collating visual image and the striking colour he captured using the medium of words, I felt a symbiosis, not only in my work, but in the work of the artists we support. In these times of social distance, there was a precious value in communication and the consistency of a conversation .

We wrote letters and began collecting, talking, sharing our ideas with others, and one little poem in particular began to emerge as a natural link, with a breadth of riches to be found within it’s simple lines..

Squeezing the fun out of strawberries Carey Douglas- Carnegie with delicious cake by Joe.

We began a series of letters to one another. Morgan’s poem ‘Strawberry’ became a central theme in the height of Summer. The evocative and beautiful imagery of anticipation, the love of fruit and the fruit of love. Ruth and I began a rich conversation through snail mail letters with strawberries at their core. How lovely in lockdown And fruit began to grow. Like the tendrils on a strawberry plant, the inspiration passed through groups and friends creating alone, or in partnerships and it touched them too
And they made things, wrote things, cooked things ..

We sent out runners to our Writers and Artists, to Mental Health support groups, and to isolated friends and neighbours.

Passing on a seed through the medium of collective artwork
Morgan’s Scrapbooks
Jeanie Adie ‘Strawberries’
Liz Walker ‘Feed me'( detail)

     Strawberry Jam

Julie Ann Thomason

Strawberry Jam Video Recipe | TheBellyRulesTheMind
Everywhere we looked there were strawberries, and there was a kind of beauty in the simplest of touches, as the world saw fit to stop us getting closer

Blood coloured, heart shaped,

aromatic triggers of

scented summers.

The mystery of memory.

Bending down, lifting leaves

finding the jewels, plucking,

placing in the box

with more than one

caressing the tongue.

Weighing and paying

the journey home,

The stage on the summer ritual,

to grandma’s to make the jam.

Hulling and cutting the ruby fruit,

into the pan with clouds of sugar

fragrance floating, signalling

the metamorphosis from

summer delicacy to winter treat.

Into the jars, sealed and saved

no longer heart shaped,

sticky, squishy, syrup delight

an enigmatic memory.

1950s strawberry ice cream | Creepy vintage, Vintage food posters, No dairy  recipes
Cherry’s ‘Temptation’
Sarah Prentice . ‘Savour the Flavour’


Heather’s ‘For G’

     Alison Low

“The strawberry grows underneath the nettle,

And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best

Neighbored by fruit of baser quality”.

Henry V’, Wm. Shakespeare

Snapped early from the nurturing shrub

And given over to the salaried social workers

A baby born in the 1960’s is passed between adults

With no questions asked

Too many children born into the permissive society

Too many for quality control

The wheel of fortune turns

And a child is cast adrift upon the uncertain seas of bureaucracy

The wheel turns several times

With a few pauses and false starts

It comes to a stop in the ol’ wild west

Strawberry Shortcake

In the east end of Glasgow

In a field of red brick tenements

Inhabited by wild brambles

The strawberry blond child

Does not find herself at home in a house of dark strangers

Hardened through experience,

The now angry teenager

uses the time to learn and understand

The laws of nature verses nurture

Ruth’s ‘Strawberry Thieves’

An escape is planned

To run not from but to

A place to flourish

Unhindered by prickly nettles.

The ambitious teenager now finds herself

Down but not out

And soon thrives and climbs

Aided by her wiles and streetwise ways

She throws a rope from her summit

To the past in the hope

that others may follow –

But nobody came

I fear I’ve lost my bearings

     Judy Greenwood     

I fear I’ve lost my bearings

don’t know which way to go

Are you a head person or a heart person? | SBS Science

my head is facing one way

my heart is saying no

Its odd that in one person

such conflict is exposed

both head and heart are part of me

How can they be opposed?

10 Strawberry Clipart! - The Graphics Fairy

My head is home to intellect

my heart the feelings store

though both are made of protein cells

they seem to be at war

Some say it doesn’t matter

some say they do not mind

but pitting mind o’er matter

has sadly vexed mankind

From pious priests to jealous monk

with flagellating purge

Gilda’s secret strawberry poem

to modern day psychologists

with mindfulness their urge

The human lot is what we’ve got

though consciousness a blessing

the dissonance twixt head and heart

Contexts, Constructs, & the Human Condition: Grounding Quantitative with  Qualitative Research | Research Design Review

will always keep us guessing

The moral of this story

is fairly plain to see

body and soul coexist

we cannot set them free.

Your Body and Your Soul | Wifaqul Ulama (Britain)


     Jo Gibson

That Day.

It returns in brilliant bursts,

I hold it gently, a cupped sun,

in summer’s hands.

You are July’s offering of sky,

a thousand blues that

could not hurt us.

The beach, a miracle of

no one, gives its blessing.

That day.

The rock pools played along,

and we guddled for treasure,

ankle deep, bowed heads

touching. The diamond sand

made jewels of everything.

A fragment of old pottery made

10 Strawberry Clipart! - The Graphics Fairy

a kaleidoscope of time, dizzy with the travel we

What Holding Hands Says About Your Relationship, According To Experts

held hands.

That day.

Our hunger was red. The tide

hurried us, eating ground

around our feet.

Laughing we ran, left things

Not really a matter of the heart: The science behind love and attraction -  Health News , Firstpost

unsaid by the shore. safe again

you unwrapped the blushing

strawberries, held one out for me

to bite, and it tasted of everything

that had ever been right.

About Us

Liz Walker Artist, Community artist and blogger

Ruth Gilchrist Poet and blogger

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