Hello again, dear wordsmiths.
A bit of excitement in my life – recently I was one of five local poets invited to submit poems to a group of local artists who wanted material to be inspired by. Because these artists were working in visual media (paintings, ceramics, installation…) I chose to submit haiku.
We were given the choice to submit eight haiku or six longer pieces. I did some market research by asking several artist friends – not members of the group wanting material, as I thought that could be unethical – whether they would prefer to be inspired by a longer poem or the single image of a haiku. They all said haiku. Naturally, the haiku I then submitted to the group conveyed very direct, immediate visual images.
Three artists chose five of my haiku between them, to work from – in very individual ways. I was amazed and fascinated by what they did in response to my words; and also by what other artists did in response to the other poets’ longer pieces, e.g. stark, angular ceramic towers in response to my friend Sarah Temporal’s poem about Rapunzel, or softly rounded and gently coloured bowls for Matt Hetherington’s The Kiss.
The resulting exhibition (which opened with a poetry reading) was in a local gallery called Small Works Gallery – so, obviously, the artists created ‘small works’ for this project even though some of them normally go large. They included notes of their processes for the public to read.
You can see all my five haiku and the works they inspired at my Stones for the River blog (which is for my own small works!) but I was particularly struck by what Shelly Anfield had to say about our shared local landscape. Here are those haiku and her resulting paintings.
blue hills darken sharp-edged
against pale sky
the old mountains
stand their ground
I feel a deep connection to nature and am fascinated by the dichotomy of fragility and strength that exists within all life and the corresponding constant striving for balance. For me, the landscape is a perfect metaphor for the complexities of human life. There is chaos and order, and within that a perfection that is difficult to comprehend. I approach my work as a form of meditation and hope to inspire a moment of stillness and contemplation within the viewer.
Rosemary Nissen-Wade's haiku incorporating imagery of the mountains and sky inspired me and a response felt inevitable. I generally have a preference for painting large immersive pieces, so the haiku with its brevity seemed to suit the small scale of paintings I chose to create for this exhibition.
... Also, as Rosemary and I are both local artists, I chose to represent Wollumbin, the sacred mountain of our local region, which resides in a World Heritage listed area.
That was pretty wonderful, I thought!
If you would like a prompt today, I’d love you to share something of your own landscape with us – in a visual enough way that an artist might recreate it in another medium. (No, you don’t have to do it in haiku!) Feel free to illustrate it with your own pictures, including photos, if you wish.
Otherwise, please share anything you would like, old or new, verse or prose – prose to be a maximum of 369 words. Link us, below, to your relevant blog post, leave us a few words here if so inclined, and have fun reading what others share too.
The prompt will stay open all week – but later submissions may not receive so many readers. If that happens, please don’t be discouraged.
May your writing be a sanctuary from the troubles in our world – or a safe way of relieving the stress!
Next week, Magaly will invite us to take a
poem or story we wrote many years ago (preferably,
one that wasn’t exactly awesome), and rewrite it. She would like us to post both
the original and the edited versions.