art from writing: writing from art
Open to writers, musicians, and visual artists of all kinds, SPARK is a participatory creativity event that takes place four times each year. The project’s rules are simple: Writers send their partners a story or poem; artists send an image of their painting, photograph, or sculpture; and musicians send either an MP3 file or a link to their work on another website. Working over a set period of time, each person uses their partner’s piece as a jumping off point for new work of their own.
My collaboration was with a guy named Ray Sharp whose poem I have featured on my blog before. We did two pieces together, one called ‘Snow Angel’ and the other named ‘The Cobb’. I am the photographer and Ray the poet. We have discussed working together again on future projects – but next time I will set his poems to music I think. Being a singer/songwriter myself – it will be an exciting challenge for me to work with someone elses lyrics other than my own.
I’ll place a link to the SPARK website at the bottom of this page, so that you can see the other collaborations too – there really is some beautiful work happening. Please check it out.
Have you ever been mesmerized
by snowflakes bright against the night
like a billion white moths
like pieces of the clouds
kissing your upturned face?
Ecstatic on your back in the snow
like an angel floating on a cloud?
Don’t sleep. Come back to Earth.
By Ray Sharp
How many times I have come down to the sea
with an unquiet mind!
From Lyme Regis, the Pearl of Dorset, down the cobbled path
under the cliff to the Cobb, I walk
in fair weather and foul, in sun and slashing squall,
to breathe in the salt spray
and abide in the womb from whence we came,
sea water coursing our veins.
In name you are the gull, in form its wing, in coloration
the shining-white lunate sweep
of stone made of the bones and scales of ancient monsters,
long-necked plesiosaurs that hunted
these dark waters when the land was new and untrodden.
Atop your wing I am flying,
vertiginous between ocean swells and sheltered harbour,
leaden clouds and deep cold sea.
On the demarcation I lay me down hard to the rock
and open to the sky,
grounded on a porous egg-shell contradiction that holds
back the insistent sea
yet is itself of the sea, born long ago of muck
at ocean’s depth, pressed
once to layered Portland limestone and a second time laid
block upon squared block.
And so it is for me, formed of calcareous bone,
awash in wave-tossed source
that is the world, sea wall that is the sea,
arch bended to node
like the bump on my clavicle that speaks its history,
like the tidal rush
that drones, be in this one place, touch it,
feel it touch you.
by Ray Sharp
I took the photograph for The Cobb in Lyme Regis when I was visiting Mrs Mutterer – we went there for the afternoon, I was really impressed how beautiful it was – I definitely want to return at some point. I sent various pictures to Ray and this was the one that he felt inspired him the most.
Let me know what you think – and should you want to check out the website and project yourself: here is the link