Saturday, March 19, 2011

Art & Poetry

I recently came across this video, via twitter, in which Jennette Mullaney of the Metropolitan Museum explores the the link between Art and Poetry. It’s only a few minutes long but well worth a look.

I’ve always been interested in words and images; in poetry and art.

The first example in the video is William Blake’s illustrated poem “The Tyger”. This reminded me how much of an early influence William Blake was. He is known as both a poet and an artist through works such as “Songs Of Innocence” and “ Songs Of Experience”. Both of these were illuminated books that he printed himself in small numbers.

I used to write poetry and once produced a set of illustrated poems - a direct influence of Blake. I don’t know where they are now. Probably lagging some pipes somewhere.

Nowadays I don’t write poetry but I have discovered that by occasionally placing appropriate words within some of my images, I can add instant context and amplify the meaning.

This process will develop further as I write about some of my pictures - tell their stories - and possibly publish the pictures and the words together in some kind of book form.

Coincidentally, at Cardiff Central Library there is currently an exhibition of “Book Arts” - showing work by a diverse range of artists who make one-off or small limited editions of books. It’s fascinating to see how much relative weight the different artists give to image and text. The exhibition has been produced in collaboration with the Women’s Arts Association.

An interesting article about words and images in art is this Times review from 2009 “Words in pictures: the text big thing”.

Peter, thank you so much for your kind words about my Connections episode! These two art forms interlink beautifully, and it's wonderful to hear that poetry inspires you artwork as well. Your post offers an intriguing look at these complementary forms.
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