Poet and visual artist Helen Ivory is among the artists taking part in the Norwich Art Trail.

From her home in Silver Road, which she shares with her husband, poet Martin Figura, Helen makes her unique poem boxes which are unusually created on the back – rather than the front – of canvases.

Helen, whose latest book is called Waiting for Bluebeard, said her visual work is influenced by her writing.

She said: 'I have found my voice as a visual artist through writing, through the use of metaphor and the meanings that happen when you put one thing next to another and how meanings change, and all of my books also include visual images made by me.'

About her poem boxes, she said: 'I am kind of a magpie. I like going round second-hand shops and finding materials and objects that have had lives before. I am really attracted to reusing things, especially old photographs. I put them into a little box and reanimate them – taking them from the dark and putting light on them again.'

She said many of the words she uses in her poem boxes are from Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia from the 1950s. Among her poem boxes is one which uses the words 'what the moon was like in the long ago' which features a wax boudoir doll from the 1920s holding an eye and with starfish in the background.

Helen said: 'The eye she is holding represents a light. She's a bit like an usherette holding a torch. I see her as a personification of the moon, and I've used stars that are normally in the sea in the sky.' It is Helen's second year of being part of Open Studios.

She said: 'It's just really nice to meet people and talk about art and poetry. It's nice because if you are an artist or a writer you usually find yourself on your own quite a lot. For the public, often when you see artwork you just see the artwork, but with Open Studios you can have a conversation with the artists about their work.'

For more on the trail, visit www.nnopenstudios.org.uk

Poetry review – Weekend