Sunday, October 21, 2012

Painting Dialogue

Cheryl Penn has a marvelous mail art exhibition on at the moment.  Here is the line from the essay in her online catalog that sparked an idea for me -

'Firstly, one is – or isn’t born a Postal Person.  Perhaps letter writing is genetic?  Secondly, mail art is the perfect vehicle for the dissemination of incomplete ideas and thirdly, mail art helps formulate ones own art practice – well it certainly has mine.’ Cheryl Penn

Today is my 23rd anniversary and I woke up thinking that I'm going to try using mailart (to Patrick) as a way to think about my own developing ideas on painting. We'll see how it goes but please go and look at Cheryl's catalog.  It is superb and the articles by other mail artists are wonderful too!

What I'm reading

A poet-friend of mine sent me a collection by Anna Adams.  This poem seems so relevant to all we do in mail art/ visual poetry, trashpo, etc... I keep reading it and thought some of you might like it too:


Think of caseworms in their streams
     gathering stray bric-a-brac –
     sandgrain, leafscrap, broken stick,
to disguise their tender forms:

Binding tesserae of trash
     close, to make a carapace –
     intricate mosaic face –
covering near-naked flesh.

Think of poets in the street
     finding unconsidered snatches –
     phrases overheard – for patches
to be stitched into a coat

That close-fits transparent thought.
     They obsessively construct
     intellectual artefacts,
Babel-towers to support

Flickerings of inner flame,
     shielding it from unkind winds,
     circumstances, obtuse minds,
housing fire in name on name –

Images purloined from Dream –
     using what they hear, touch, see,
     to embody mystery.
Poems swim upstream through Time,

Keeping in the present tense,
     hearing still the ever-young
     poets of archaic tongue
making one harmonious sense.

Permutations of the rhymes
     work like genes in DNA
     keeping poetry OK,
constantly renewing themes

in contemporary dress:
     Death and Love, and Love and Death,
     Poets’ truth, till our least breath,
sings our dole of consciousness.

Anna Adams: Green Resistance NEW AND SELECTED POEMS
(1996: Enitharmon)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What is an Epistolarium?

Was asked by Theresa at The Letter Project to consider the epistolarium. Monday morning I ranted: Try reading it with one breath.

Episolarium Rant

A room with a view
solarium, aquarium, agrarian
Place where ideas grow
weave, weft, hook
Paper words
between people
More practical than missiles
or pistols
Plural, equal, altered
born, hatched, spawned
Epistolarium ovarian
women words
organic shapes
Victorian? Matissian?
hothouse determination
Uprising of letters
an anti-Lariam, epistolarium
a community
of eco egos
Epicenter of postal prodding
to the edges of knowing and beyond

This morning the epistolarium woke me up. 

Epistolarium of my mind

Waking me
shaking me
sheet-shimmying me

Levitating liberating
translating my days

Hemisphere within

letters hanging
words colliding

Winking smiling
Spinning its trance

A monotype  made on a mirror (Akua Kolor and Akua Intaglio).