New visitor experience app will guide people on a local literary walk
January 22, 2023
A new heritage visitor experience is to be launched in Chiswick this week.
Discover Bedford Park with WB Yeats, will be the first ever poetry-places literary-walk app. Available 24/7, people will be able to access it by scanning a QR cover by the new statue, Enwrought Light by Conrad Shawcross, outside St. Michael and All Angels Church.
The launch will take place at a free public event next Saturday (28 January) at 11am by the statue. It will be hosted by Chiswick Book Festival director Torin Douglas along with the @YeatsBedfordPk project organiser Cahal Dallat and Jeremy Vine.
The app will guide you through a number of places in the area with connections to the Irish poet. He lived in Bedford Park with his family for many years and scholars believe that the Bohemian and progressive artist's-colony, as it was at the time, played a key part in the development of his genius. He wrote what is perhaps his best-known poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, when living in W4. His father and siblings also made notable achievements in the visual arts while residing in the area.
There are eight locations to visit all within a few hundred yards of each other plus two more slightly further afield.
And at each location, which you can access on your smartphone/tablet/iPad, there will be images, history, a short talk and a Bedford-Park-inspired Yeats poem read by 2022 Oscar and BAFTA-nominated Irish actor, Ciarán Hinds.
The app will be accessible using a QR code on the information board by the statue. Picture: Mike Abbott
Cahal Dallat said, “The young Yeats, in the days he walked the very path that you see in the pic above to his school, fared better in maths and science subjects than English and Latin, and dreamt of a 'unity' of arts and sciences, nature and spirit, (or psychogeometries in Conrad Shawcross's terms) so we know he'd be delighted by a 21st-century gizmo that time-travels the poetry/arts-lover back to Bedford Park's Utopian late-19th-century heyday and to the people and places that inspired some of the greatest political poems and love-lyrics of the 20th-century.”
Further events are planned in 2023 to mark the centenary of Yeats receiving the Nobel Prize.
You can read more about the Yeats link with Chiswick in this article by Cahal Dallat written for Chiswickw4.com.
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