Tag Archives: poetry

Playing with asemics

I have been slowly working on another piece of map weaving, based on experiments I did last February. 12 months ago already! I started in the new year, and have been struggling to get motivated to get it finished – it is a meticulous and laborious process of cutting, twisting and twining. Right now I am not enjoying the process as much as I did last summer – it’s just not speaking to where I am right now. What I keep coming back to instead are two older drawing themes: 1) working with stream of consciousness poetry and asemic text and 2) the ideas of anachronism (feeling out of place). I start drawing to warm up the creative juices and don’t ever get around to doing the weaving.

One of the key things my MA study showed me is that I believe art must come from your self, not your head. I’m not going to spend time developing something ‘just because it might sell’. I don’t need to get money from my art (I am going back to work in an office). Instead, I want to freedom to express the things I want to in the way that I want to. At the moment, this is through pen and ink.

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My current fixation is back on playing with layering of fragments of poetry, using a range of different media to experiment with the textures and quality of the pigment.

I would like to turn these experiments into a series of different textures expressing different aspects of my poetry. Should I use of specific poem, or just the fragments which resonate at the time? I’ve never worked on properly resolving a drawing project before, so this will be an interesting adventure.

I’m also working on a sketchbook writings project – looking at creating a stream of consciousness piece every day (or at least most days….), playing with the expression of mood through the calligraphic form. Yesterday’s poem was a bit like the weather:

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It’s nice to be back at the drawing table.

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I am the Wordsmith

My poem for today:

I am the Wordsmith
(c) Angelique Talbot, Tuesday 12 April 2016

 

I am the Wordsmith
My name is carved into the heart of the mountain
The source of the river which feeds the world
White stone and black water
My words bleed through the earth and infuse the sky
Seeping into the edges of the universe and the void beyond

I am the Wordsmith, the keeper of keys
My name is carved into the heart of the world
With wind and water I craft dreams and desire
Bringing green to the summer lands
My words shake the skies and warp the earth
Twisting reality into infinite reflections of itself

I am the Wordsmith, awakened in darkness
My name is whispered in shadow
With fire and stone I bring chaos and pain
The night’s melody sung out across the sky
My words shatter the black into shimmering pearls
So to begin again the dance of the stars

Writing on the wall II

Having played a little more with the projection mapping, working directly onto my threads, I am not convinced it is doing what I want it to do. Although I like the idea of my writing being dynamic, I don’t want to be constrained into making a thread ‘wall’ just to have a solid enough surface for the words to show up on. So I had a look at what other options there may be for getting my poems materially into my work using the same principles.

I came back to Morley’s book, Writing on the Wall, and revisited the idea of literally doing that – writing on the wall. With a pen. There are precedents for this, with for example, artists such as Fiona Banner:

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My question remains though how to integrate the threads with the words. Perhaps having the handwritten poems revealed at the heart of the thread installation (written or displayed on the wall?). They will then offer my personal fiction – what impressions and imaginations can be discerned from life’s experiences – into the less subjective expression of place through the map yarn. I am happy to have the poems legible, because (as anyone who has read my stream of consciousness poetry can tell you) it won’t offer much help as to what the piece means.

My current best description is this: the installation itself will be a physical experience (big enough to walk through) offering a moment to seek an encounter with yourself. The installation will be created to reflect my personal identity through my choice of form and the places which I consciously choose as a representation of my sense of self. You can walk in to it so that I can say to you, this is my world.

My poem for today for good measure:

I lost my way in self-defence,
but panicked, and decided to find it again.
I was watching the road winding onward, but took the long way round.
There is no centre to anything

so I just fell out on the other side.
Why am I always here?
I should not have come here looking for any part of myself.
Cut the apple, says the witch, and find the sacred star
You’ll have forgotten again by morning. 

Angelique Talbot, 17:15 6 April 2016

When the veil of reality grows thin

Happy Hallowe’en!

In long legends from across the British isles, Hallowe’en and the old Celtic Samhain festival which preceeded it, have marked the death of summer and the start of the cold winter season. All Hallow’s Eve was the night before the start of the winter season on 1 November; the night is in between summer and winter, not belonging to either but connected to both.  This liminality gives it potency, and is thought to connect the ‘ordinary’ reality to otherworldy realities. Due to this, people thought the veil between worlds becomes thin – thin enough for spirits, demons or the dead to come back through into our plane of existence.

This is why there are so many customs which are in fact old divination techniques – apple bobbing, throwing chestnuts into the fire and so on – as perhaps the veil becomes so thin you can see the future clearly. Ignoring the commercial nature of our modern Hallowe’en and the dentist’s joy of trick or treating, there is a real primal fear underpinning the Hallowe’en legend: darkness, winter and the fear of the unknown.  No-one really knows if spirits and ghosts exist or if what people feel are just experiences of something else which science cannot currently explain. Reality is what we construct around us; so we interpret the unknown in the only way our brains can process.

So…perhaps you should lock your door this evening and light a candle in the window.

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To mark the day, here is a poem. Samhain by Annie Finch

In the season leaves should move
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn die to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
til they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother’s mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
“Carry me.” She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

My project context: explaining the unexplainable

I can’t write my project context or research topic in sensible words yet. But here is a poem which tries somewhat to explain it. Or me. Or both.

Soul Mirror
Copyright Angelique Talbot 2014

Hold a mirror to your soul. What do you see?
I see that which is clear in the light,
The shadows of truth in the darkness
I look for the nature of reality;
The point where all breaks down: the quantum foam, 
The chaos butterfly, the liminal space,
The complex plot and the interwoven life;
Where all is not what it seems to be.
I seek to unearth the fundamental truths,
the smallest particle, the arrow of time,
the inner values;
What lies beyond, what lies beneath;
Other universes, other times, other realities,
Interconnected.
The puzzle, the maze: the mystery and magic;
The natural silence of the passing cloud;
The flowing stream and the grain of sand.
I inhabit the infinite spaces,
The bell ringing in the darkness,
The ghost in the machine.

Seminar – design culture

Class seminar on design and design culture this morning.  Interesting to see things from someone else’s perspective.  My experience of design practice to date has been focussed around graphic and information design, where the user’s needs are more intangible (about the user experience through a technology flow for example), so similar but subtly different from product design.  However function is still key.

We discussed a little of the history of design across the last few decades, and I was intrigued by how much of design has been used as a social commentary on current culture, environment etc.  I have to admit that I entered my non-comfort zone here – as I have always had a bit of a problem with people on ‘grand causes’ using non-political means to make large political statements. Not sure why actually, but for example I find ‘lets all be zero carbon’ really annoying even though I am as much of a driver for environmental change as the next person. I noticed this when Maiko showed us a TED talk of a chap making a toaster from scratch (literally) – by going on a quest to mine his own ore and make his own copper wires etc. It really annoyed me to an unexpected degree.  I did understand the point he was making after Maiko explained it to me, but it still seemed disingenuous – the sort of thing I find unauthentic and patronising. Do people really think all consumers know nothing about what they buy or the complexity of the supply chain? Or is what is really annoying me just assumption and vast generalisation?  Or am I just being harsh because I have a headache?

I still believe that people can’t really make anything fully from scratch by themselves in a collaborative human society – of course you can have as handmade as possible, but to be really fundamental you won’t be using any electricity then, or mains water, or any metal tools (unless you have mined the ore yourself), or any natural fibres you haven’t grown yourself, plus you can’t rely on any principles of science or engineering someone else has developed within your construction?

Anyway, rant over.

The other thing Maiko asked us to do was to address which contexts and debates our project is fitting into.  Currently a challenge while I re-frame my vague ideas, but the best way I can express this at the moment is resorting to a beautiful poem I found on a library bookmark in week at St Andrews University back in the day.  I am an old fashioned girl, and I love poetry, so here you are: Leisure by William Henry Davies – a nice contrast to my earlier ranting 🙂

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare”