Skip to main content

In The Open | Gail Dickerson, Barbara Cumbers & Anna Robinson 

Gail Dickerson is a Visual Artist and freelance tutor who studied Painting at the Royal College of Art and has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Gail’s work evolves around geology, materials and the processes of transition. She is a member of Land2 and has been involved with several research projects including ‘Close to Home’ in Leeds in 2012 and ‘Fieldwork’ on the Isle of Mull in 2009/10. Solo exhibitions have included ‘Interstice’ at University College London, ‘Art & Archaeology’ CGP Gallery, Southwark Park & Birbeck College London, ‘Database’ at Brixton Market  London, ‘A Repeated Unrepeatable Journey’ Redhanded Gallery London, ‘A.R.U.J. A Ploughed Field’ ASC Window Space London. Other projects have included ‘Reap’ Dilston Grove London, ‘Origin of Colour’ and ‘Elements’ Aberdeen University, ‘Concretum’ Dilston Grove London, ‘A Place in Time’  Northampton University, ‘One Hour Make’ Fermynwoods Water Tower and ‘One Metre Measured’ NN Contemporary Arts.

Barbara Cumbers is a geologist and poet. Her poems are focused on the natural world and mankind’s interactions with it. She has combined geology and poetry on work in many parts of Britain, particularly in the Lake District (Cumbria) and the Shetland Isles. She looks at landscape with a geologist’s eye, sometimes influenced by her strict religious upbringing and its repudiation. Her poems have appeared in many anthologies and magazines. Her first collection is A Gap in the Rain published by Indigo Dreams in 2016 (

Anna Robinson was born and lives in London. She has an MA in Public History from Ruskin College, Oxford. Her pamphlet, Songs from the Flats (Hearing Eye 2006), was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. In 2001, she became the first recipient of The Poetry School Scholarship and her poetry was featured in the School’s second anthology, Entering the Tapestry, (Enitharmon 2003). Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies, including Poetry London, Magma, Brittle Star, the Reater, In The Company of Poets (Hearing Eye 2003) and Oxford Poets 2007 (Oxford/Carcanet). As part of Poetry International and the South Bank Centre’s Trading Places project, Robinson was Poet in Residence in Lower Marsh in 2006. A former tutor in prisons, she is a regular poetry judge for the Koestler Competition and is a founding editor for Not Shut Up! and The Long Poem Magazine. She is a Hawrthornden Fellow.

Core Sample

Barbara Cumbers (Poet and Geologist)
Gail Dickerson (Visual Artist)
Anna Robinson (Poet and Local Historian)
Mixed media book

A site-specific collaboration in and around the Elephant and Castle area of South East London.  A place of change viewed from different perspectives and resulting in the pages of a book. Pages as overlain or cut away layers holding images and poems which suggest the unseen and the seen in the landscape around us. In this case in a city and centred by a building site where land is temporarily exposed due to rejuvenation or development.  Pages containing visual layers and paintings referencing geology and geological processes using earth pigments made from materials collected from in or around the building site or exploring the local quarries that supply the building industry. Pages overlain with maps, diagrams or architectural drawings or layers of poetry referencing people, history, archaeology, geology or the everyday happenings down the Elephant and Castle.