‘brish’ – Ian McMillan

A pre-explained comedy entrance to the room that still raised a laugh, glasses on and glasses off, ‘brish’ an over-heard mispronounced word, the lens cap of destiny, memories of Carcroft library, a drawn circle with a ‘x’ in it and some invited sentences from the audience, were just some of the topics that marked the shared experience that Ian McMillan brought to a fourth floor lecture room at Bower Ashton, Bristol this week.

McMillan, the spoken word artist from Barnsley, England, worked his magic with an audience of MA Animation and MA Graphic Arts students. For those in the room who did not have English as their first language and may have missed a few words, the sheer energy and sounds he made were captivating enough.

So what can a poet bring to the practice of an animator or designer? Well you do not have to look much beyond the word ‘brish’ for creative possibilities. It’s a word that has not yet been fixed in our consciousness and that is still open to interpretation. For the child that shouted it on the train journey down to Bristol sitting behind McMillan, wanting to tell the whole carriage that the train had stopped on a ‘brish’, suggests that sometimes the ability to approach creative problems with a more childlike sensibility can unlock new worlds. In the joint process of story telling there is commonality between disciplines and a reminder that the best stories are the ones we encounter everyday.