Archive for January, 2021

Collage Poetry

This weeks theme – collage – which I really love and have wanted to do some work on for ages – but it’s too easy just to stick things on a page without rhyme or reason whereas I need some rationale and coherance. This collage ‘book’ is a collection of personal references and meanings. The structure references, and is an homage to, Joseph Cornell, using a hollowed-out ready-made book rather than the boxes that he used in his assemblages. I had collected the felt lobsters years before with such a purpose in mind. The painting-seeing-poetry-feeling words are from a quotation by Leonardo da Vinci, with his Virgin and Child cartoon included as it is a particular passion of mine. The face of Mary in that drawing reminds me of my mother so the map in the background includes the area of Sheffield where she grew up and that of Derbyshire that we regularly visited in my childhood. The reverse of the book is a bit random.

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Poster Poetry

I decided on a very simple folded book structure for this week, partly because this lent itself to having a poster for a background and reminded me of posters and banners I’ve made and carried on marches and demos. I inherited my mother’s drawing board, where a banner she was painting had bled through onto the board and that provided the background for the book. This board was also an important part of my childhood so this little book is partly a message to her, in the ‘secret’ compartments of the book that are folded out of sight. The speech bubbles were a bit of minimalist ‘poetry’ … add ones own thoughts.

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Concrete Poetry

Very interesting theme for me, first an engineering connection then a throw back to the 1960s. Concrete immediately made me think of reinforced concrete so I decided on a piano hinge structure for this week’s book, with metal ‘poles’ for the ‘reinforcing’ – not sure they really work and a bit of a tenuous connection but it was fun trying out a structure I’ve not made before.

Looking for other examples of concrete poetry found a lovely one called John Cage Mesostic, which got me rambling away to myself again about what is poetry and I put some thoughts in a couple of  ‘concrete’ blocks. The John Cage piece got me thinking about mesostics, which I’ve played with in the past and a reference somewhere sparked off the Tangent idea.

Last year I was contacted by someone who had come across my name in a Computer Arts Society event catalogue from 1969, Project Bard from Surrey University Poetry Group – I remembered being in the group but didn’t remember much about us writing a poetry producing program. In the same catalogue was this flow-chart for a computer poetry program – I would have liked to produce something like that for this book but  my programming skills are out of date – consulting a friend she recommended Python; no time to learn it this week but I plan to.

I decided to include a mesostic I’d produced for a Frankenstein book I’d made, the final speech of the monster, and thought I’d redo that in a more ‘concrete’ style – very interesting how just using a different font totally changes the feel of the piece. Then some more playing about, including an actual concrete book made by a collaborator friend as a background to playing with some words again.

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Art Poetry

 I find much ‘art poetry, rather challenging – I can’t see the poetry – the definition elludes me, I am confused. Of course it’s just a matter of definition but, being something of a pedant, I tend to get hung up on definitions and meanings. 

As 1st Oct. was International Postcard Day I decided that my work for this week of the course would be in the form of postcards and decided the blizzard book structure (so called because the inventor designed it while she was locked down in a blizzard) would be good to hold the postcards in, and was a structure I’d never tried before.

I decided on two tacks – to ‘search for poetry’ and to draw some blizzards. 

I had fun with a couple of ‘blackout’ pages (though I don’t like that term and don’t use it, I just call them ‘found poems’) using some random old pages I had to hand. And using the idea from A New Dictionary of Art by Robert Good I searched online for definitions of poetry and squeezed them into a page. I had fun with a typewritter and bits of poems I randomly chose.

I ‘drew’ the blizzards with correcting fluid, a material I rather enjoy playing with; and whilst working on this book I heard a news item about words that were being lost through disuse – balderdash was one so I paired it with ‘goggledegook’ as these sum up what I think a lot of writing about art is. Finally I added a photo of a book I’d made awhile ago with the words of a friend’s poems scattered over crumpled sheets of tracing paper.

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