March 25, 2011
I am putting the final moments into part II of my response to the amazing poem Nights on Planet Earth by Campbell McGrath. If you read the poem you’ll likely understand why I felt driven to make more than one work. In fact I should make three. We’ll see.
For the time being we have two which are both 30 x 30″ acrylic paintings with glitter, graphite, ink and paper on board. Here’s a detail of part I, it’s title is 2AM:
This work will be part of an upcoming show, A Good Line: Artists on Poems, at Richard Hugo House in Seattle. Jennifer Borges Foster, curator of A Good Line, invited visual artists to select a poem we love and respond to it. I narrowed the pool down to about ten that I felt were great. I got myself hardcopies of these and read them. Then read them again.
The fact that they were all stellar didn’t matter. I all the time knew that Nights on Planet Earth was the one. I resisted this just a bit; the others would have been easier to respond to. Nights on Planet Earth was the toughest to tackle, the most sweeping, epic, sheer gorgeous. It was also the one I related to the most directly and so picking it left me without a buffer; it took from me any of the safety that can come from a slight disconnect.
Nights on Planet Earth knocks me over every time I read it. Or think about it. I am very fortunate to have spent these weeks with it; it has been a real pleasure. If you haven’t read it yet I’d like to encourage you too . . . you’ll find ashes and yakuza, Christmas lights, Madrid, Manhattan, Chicago, Dublin, always a city, satellites and cosmic dust, icebergs and an octopus and an army of golden carpenter ants. Go.
(Oh and the other candidates were pretty excellent, so I want to share, they included: Herr Stimmung on Transparency by Keith Waldrop, Merry-go-round by Miroslav Holub, Sublimation Point by Jason Schneiderman.)
Artists participating in A Good Line: Artists on Poems are Gala Bent, Sharon Arnold, Troy Gua, Counsel Langley, Kim Drake, Ryan Molenkamp, Amanda Manitach, Erin Shafkind, Nola Avienne, David Lasky, Liz Tran, Shaun Kardinal, Jed Dunkerley and Ben Beres.
I can’t wait to discover what poem each and every one of these awesome artists chose and how they responded to it!
Show opens on April 1st
with a reception on April 12th from 6 to 9pm
Richard Hugo House
1634 11th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122