Back in October, I performed my new work-in-progress 'Imperfection'. At the same time, the theatre kindly hosted an exhibition of the images you can currently see in the Gallery. On the final day of the festival in which I was performing, people could come and buy a ticket to experience a sequence of one-to-one performances. For my ten minute 'audiences' I had the images to show of course but in order to offer more performance value to the experience, I wrote a series of short poems, one for each of the hanging pieces.
This was a practice I started when I joined the Tate Modern. It was at a time when I had let my creativity atrophy (it happens so slowly then suddenly - auugh) and I had started on the tender path back by beginning practices that keep the channel open. I walked through the Cy Twombly exhibition. When something really got to me (or when I felt I somehow couldn't experience it all sufficiently) I'd whip out my notebook and stand scribbling - basically taking dictation. (I met a woman in Arizona who has travelled round the world taking dictation from rocks - Hawaii, Mexico, Australia.)
So that was what I did to generate the first raw drafts of the 20 short poems. The images were my familiar friends, my jewels, the jigsaw puzzle pieces to assemble for the hang (grateful thanks to my friend Kelly Burke for her brilliant curation) but when I simply put them before me and looked, pen in hand, I was surprised to see how much more they had to say.
Louis MacNeice speaks of the world being 'incorrigibly plural'. I am beginning to believe in an 'incorrigible kaleidoscopic-ness of art'. I found myself rambling in an email to a friend the other day: 'the chinese-puzzle box / hologramic / kaleidoscopic nature of creativity... going in to create out, from a fraction, a new whole.'
The young artist I met at the Grayson Perry exhibition (post on 11/11/2014) spoke about how the spark we get from other artists can grow unexpected new things. We met beside the wonderful Huhne vase. This young man was patterned-over in arresting and original tattoos, harmonising with Perry's well-structured colour and complexity - but radiating his own uniqueness.
So synchronicity - I know, it can sound so new-agey - I wandered away from my original point which was to celebrate this wonderful site fiftytwopoetry.
I have been a bit busy of late to follow Jo Bell's enriching and inspiring weekly prompts on her site '52. Write a poem a week. Start now. Keep going.' Of course she knows a poem can take more than a week to polish (although some poets have created works fully formed).
But what's important is to keep the channel open, to be frequent in practice, 'incorrigibly plural', 'incorrigibly kaleidoscopic', to make connections that don't seem to exist. Photography and poetry. Why for heavens sake why?
This week's prompt from Jo Bell is 'light, and its many forms and shapes.' Photo-graphy: light writing.