The latest issue of Stravaig is now available online.
The latest issue of Stravaig is now available online.
On Thursday the 21st of February, Isobel Dixon, Simon Barraclough and Chris McCabe performed The Debris Field for the second time to a London audience, at Rich Mix, in Shoreditch. As with the previous event at the BFI, it was both a chilling and moving experience for the audience. From the skilled performance of the words by the three poets, to the accompanying film by Jack Wake-Walker and soundtrack by Oli Barrett, the finished result was stunning.
For the first half of the evening, each of the Debris Field members presented new or recent projects and collaborations. This gave Isobel and myself the opportunity to perform and present a short selection of poems Fand images from our D. H. Lawrence inspired collaboration, answering and echoing the work in his 1923 poetry collection, Birds, Beasts and Flowers.
Isobel Dixon reading ‘Whalefall’ at Out Of The Debris
Isobel read four new poems, The Bats, Ikizukuri, Wreckfish, and Whalefall. This was the first public airing for the poems and pictures, and it was excellent to get such a positive response from the appreciative audience.
Over the next few months, Isobel and I will be developing new pieces for the project, responding not only to the poems of Lawrence, but to each others new work. Watch out for further posts of poems and images on The Net Mender, and for news of publications and exhibitions from the collaboration.
A new book of The Debris Field has been published by Sidekick Books. Click on this link to purchase your copy, only £7.50 inc. P&P.
Sketchbook study for ‘Wreckfish’
Sketchbook study for Whalefall
Working on a sequence of images as part of my Birds, Beasts and Flowers
collaborationwith South African born poet Isobel Dixon.
The images are also going to be included as part of a reading by Isobel
of a short selection of the poems from the project,
at the Out Of The Debris event at Rich Mix, London on the 21st of February
Working studio for Whalefall - The Trickle Down Effect
A’tween thinkin’ an dae’in, an expression I have borrowed from my late friend and collaborator, Harvey Holton. We’re talking about the notebook and research time between the original idea and it’s fruition as a work of art.
The majority of my studio time at the moment seems to be working in this area, the often long and painstaking process of developing and questioning your ideas. Through collecting and researching possible subject matter, the ideas either continue on to become finished art works, or are consigned to the back burner for another day when your knowledge or experience will allow you to do the idea justice.
One such project I am working on at the moment is a collaboration with film maker Alastair Cook, and poet Andrew Philip, based on the MacAdam character from Andrew’s forthcoming collection ‘The North End Of The Possible’.
Below are some of my recent notebook pages featuring possible ideas that will be used as part of Alastair’s film, and accompany recordings of the poet reading his own words.This is my ‘thinkin’ and dae’in’, working with all my experience to bring a visual realisation that will hopefully communicate the mood of Andrew’s words.
Watch out over the next few weeks for further posts on The Net Mender with further ideas and images based on the MacAdam poems.
’until his unlikely feet send him…’
‘ no boat, no miracle hand in sight’
‘ Towards the deep…’
‘ but as his last het wheeze is rising
‘a murmur in the water above him becomes the unlikely beak and wings of a Gannet.
Received the draft copy of the cover of ‘Entanglements’ a new anthology of ecopoetry from the publishers, Two Ravens Press.
The anthology contains poems from many internationally well-known authors, including Alec Finlay, Alice Oswald, Andy Brown,
Jane McKie, John Glenday, John Kinsella, Jorie Graham, Les Murray, Meg Bateman, Roddy Gorman. and Ruth Padel.
The anthology will be available to buy from the publishers website from October 1st 2012.
Assemblage produced for the cover of ‘Entanglements’ , a new anthology of eco poems from
Scottish publishers Two Ravens Press, due to be released this autumn.
Watch out for more information in future posts.
You’d think they’d be light and empty-headed creatures,
considering how they skimmed the surface of the sea
without height or depth of knowledge,
only a fleeting awareness gained at such velocity
that nothing could quite sink in
or be seen within a greater context,
but that was not how the islesmen saw them.
Instead, they marvelled at the stretch
of ocean they skipped over,
the accumulated detail their flight gained,
that they considered them the bird of greatest wisdom
and feasted hard upon them to improve
the slow and ponderous workings of their crag-bound brains.
The Guga Stone
Sometimes goodness is not within the solan goose.
There are times it lets loose evil,
when its arctic wings cast shadows on smooth
waters, bringing dark news and upheaval
to men on days of peace,
when it seems to pluck and seize the high wind,
capture thunder to release
wrath upon its rivals,
these fishermen with vessels
moving through quiet seas.
And that is why men clutch the guga stone
in gnarled and calloused fingers,
a talisman that soothes them like a prayer,
the means by which they figure
the tricks and ruses of that ruthless bird
as it sweeps indignities on those
who misuse and abuse its world.