Waxing Lyrical

I’ve been having a bit of a dilemma on how best to present my poetry as art…I have decided that I want to omit the photos I have taken, not that I dislike them really, but just think that the words work better speaking for themselves.  I was thinking about the possibility of combining my interests of map making with poetry and making some kind of poetry map. I saw a map by Nina Katchadourian which, at a glance, appeared to be made from shredded paper, but on closer inspection I saw that it was made from a map of Austria which she had dissected, and was shaped like a heart, as Austria is known as the heart of Europe.

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Austria (1997) Dissected paper road map , Nina Katchdourian

This started me thinking that I would like to make my poetry into a sculpture, whether or not it looked like a map. I was a bit wary about the paper tearing easily, so I thought I’d try a little experiment with some wax.

waxingpaper1 I printed out my poem about the Water of Ruchil and cut it into strips, which I then dipped into wax. The wax gave the paper a much more appealing look, more transparent, and it felt really smooth to touch.

waxingpaper2Next I considered how to fix the strips together to form a 3D sculptural piece. I decided to let the materials dictate how i did this, by using what would normally be used to fix printed sheets together – a stapler…which would allow the work to have more of a raw and honest feel to it, rather than covertly fixing it with glue.

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I added the lines of poetry quite randomly, as I wanted it to have an abstract feel to it. The strips were stapled in a sort of loop formation, and then loops which were furthest apart were folded in and fixed together to bulk the sculpture up.

waxingpaper6Above :Starting to take shape

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Above and below : The “ball” of poetry

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I decided to take some closer shots of the poetry sculpture, as I imagined it might be good for showing depth of field and make quite abstract images.

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poetry-blur5These shots remind me of vague memories….repeating words in your head over and over…kind of hypnotic and dreamlike…

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I prefer the photographs to the sculpture itself, as they describe my feelings of wandering through the landscape and remembering my childhood – dreamlike, surreal, vivid and vague. I’m also surprised at how in an attempt to move away from photography, I have come back to in a more abstract and less obvious way.

I also had a go at filming the poetry moving, but think I will try this again with proper editing software so that i can crop into the images more.  You can see the video Poetry in Motion below…

http://youtu.be/cIjjmhXpJj8

Inchewan Path

Having taken lots of photos and written some poetry from my walk along Inchewan Path, I decided to make an artist’s book about it, as I felt this would be a good way to tie it all together.

I began by sorting through photos and cutting them up, which allowed me to arrange them in a suitable order from which I could sketch a composition. The drawing I made were either abstract shapes of the pools and stream, or patterns and shapes derived from what I saw on my walk.

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I used watercolour/inks and white acrylic to create the “map”, which was drawn onto a long strip of cartridge paper so that it could be folded into an accordian book.

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Next I stuck off-white handmade paper onto the other side of the paper so that it would look more finished and also be a bit firmer.

I wanted to add my poetry onto the other side of the book, so had created enough pages to divide it up into 5 parts. I printed the poem out onto tracing paper, using the American Typewriter font, as I felt this was suitably pale and subtle, and I also liked the idea of the piece looking is if it had been typed on an old fashioned typewriter.

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I made the cover from card covered with papyrus paper, and stuck handmade paper inside as endpapers to finish it off.

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Finally, I made a band of tracing paper with the title printed onto it to place over the cover.

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I am quite pleased with the result, and hope to make a few more similar books from other walks I have taken.

Water of Ruchil

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Solitary stravaiger

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Stepping back in time

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 Helpless and uprooted

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Thirstily searching for Life

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Charred discarded memories

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Hide in empty vessels

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Bottled up Emotions

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Weeping with nostalgia

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Open eyes observing

IMG_1751Mossy melancholy

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Dark decaying circles

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Rings of life, and death

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Bearded branches bearing

islands

Overhanging islands

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Wizened witches fingers

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Slowly shedding skin

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The ancient paths where legions trod

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Adorned with hostile emblems

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Non-native invaders thriving

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Surviving futile floods

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 Dryadic burrs lie twisted

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By shallow shifting sands

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Relics of rotten remains

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Receive a new awakening

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Gushing rapids foaming

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to the Wild Boar’s Pool

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Constant flowing waters

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Reflecting on times past

IMG_3166Sunbeams over Nemeton

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Pierce the Veil of Sleep

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Sinister skeletal symbols

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Monuments to life

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Warped wefts of wisdom

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Frame palimpsestic paths

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Sacred standing stones

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Cover ritualistic remains

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Barbaric battlefields beckon

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Shackled and forbidden

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For those who draw the short straw

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Mortality confirmed

Walk in my Shoes

This project is borne out of my interest in walking and psychogeography, in particular the ways ways that we tread our paths through the countryside.  The idea behind this project is to encourage people to walk whilst paying attention to their immediate surroundings, in particular to look more carefully at the surface which they are walking on. This will be encouraged by lending out some footwear which would be usually deemed inappropriate to take walks in…Silk ballet pumps and glittering heels.

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Delicate pink satin ballet slippers

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Glittering Four inch stilettoes from Nine West

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IMG_2741Gold mesh sequinned and beaded pumps from Russell & Bromley

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Gold two inch stiletto sandals by made in Italy by Rhapisardi

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The performative element of this activity, Walking in my Shoes will alter the way the walker moves through the space of the landscape, adjusting their balance more by using their arms, balancing and tilting their bodies. 

It makes a bit of a statement around some of the snobbery associated with walking (yes, you heard me correctly!)… the knowing glances of those observing the name on the front of your wellie boot to the logo on the breast of your waterproof jacket, and the disapproving looks from those who are well-kitted out towards those who walk without caring about their apparel.

The participant will choose to walk anywhere they wish, for as long as they are able, wearing my shoes. The footwear will slow the walker down, causing them to place their feet strategically, avoiding hazards, but observing them more carefully.

Each participant will receive a shoe box with a pair of the shoes they must wear, a list of instructions and a small plastic bag.

As a starting point, they are required to have a photograph taken of themselves wearing the shoes at the start of their walk. Throughout the walk they are required to take further photos of their feet (wearing the shoes) on the terrain over which they are walking. They are also asked to take any photos of interesting sights they see or observations they make on their walk. A souvenir of their walk is also required, and they must collect an object on their walk which they think is interesting or memorable.

Finally, they will photograph the shoes in their destination – at the end of the walk.

They will be given a questionnaire to fill in about their experience, with space for them to draw a small map of the walk they took.

The results from all the walkers involved in this project will be collated and shared on a WordPress site and possible website too. The shoes, found objects, photographs and questionnaires/ map drawings will be displayed as part of the MA2 Assignment  Intersections and Articulations, and eventually the small maps will be used to produce a large abstract imaginary map as a culmination of the project.

Ascending Inchewan Path

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Broken bark revealing

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Parasitic maps of life

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Sarked limbs avoiding the chill

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Behold the blanketed boughs

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Wooden veins descend their roots

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Shattered shards cascading

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Hooves that tread by nightfall

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Resting on the beech by day

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 Floating ephemeral hemisphere

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Rapid reflections descending

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Foaming spectres spirited away

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Trapped by the tip of the iceberg

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 Man’s endeavours softened by time

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Shrouding symbiosis

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Severed fingers pointing toward

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Pachydermal protrusion

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Striped antennae break the ice

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Arches to unknown dimensions

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Impressions on the beaten path

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Escaping frozen sunbeams

Shadow Walker – a journey through Scott’s Wood

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Shadow walker watching…

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Clouds float in calm blue waters

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Grasses puncture serenity

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Window to a parallel world

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Beckons us to enter

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Sunlight breaks the liminal veil

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Twisted arms reach skyward

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Gazing up to the unknown

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Unfortunate adornment

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Severed trunks await their fate

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Ironically consumed by growth

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Tangled veins extrude from earth

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Remnants of life and hazardous paths

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Exit shadow walker

Comrie: Memories and Melancholy

Happy childhood, fond memories ….a haunted Victorian house, dens in the woods, climbing trees, swimming in the river, walks through the woods with a beloved pet.

The float parade, the Hay ride, guising on Halloween, and the Flambeaux on Hogmany.

The Royal Bar…pulling pints, old village “worthies”,  the 5 o’clock club,  the regulars, the gossip…a daily soap opera… theme tunes echoing from the jukebox.

A persistant customer…flattery and pursuit…an addictive romance…fame and fortune.

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Japanese Knotweed… memories of our “jungle” in the woods

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 The “Black Pool”…swimming in deep water…floating on homemade rafts…a rope swing over the pool.

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 Uprooted…removed from whence they came…helpless and exposed…aged and decaying…awaiting the inevitable…

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Roots searching…dried and brittle…seeking nourishment…thirsty for life

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Campfire songs….sausages sizzling…fun and laughter…burnt to a cinder…

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Clearing across the river….strangers on deck chairs drinking beer…fugitives enjoying their last days of freedom

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A handsome stranger…an invitation….an erotic encounter….a deep and fast flowing river…now a trickling stream

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Christmas afternoon….snow and ice…walking with my father and brother…snow crunching underfoot…crossing icy streams

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Once majestic…broken and splintered…mossy monuments of melancholy

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An intimate picnic…strawberries and lemon hooch…expectations…disappointment

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A fresh white carpet…muddy footprints…traces of our presence…and new beginnings

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Rotting carcass…predators feasting…hollow and helpless

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Memories distant…fleeting moments…ghosts of the past…mortality confirmed

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