It’s a truth universally acknowledged that one collaged found poem does not a writing residency make.
(To catch a hold of what I’m blethering on about, read how I am inventing my own residency, and have a neb at my first piece of work.)
Next steps, therefore, must be to produce more, more, more, MORE work. Dutifully, I turned my attention to the ‘treatment proposal’ document pertaining to Toussaint L’Ouverture by Lubaina Himid. I took that report, and I cut it into strips, and I shuffled it around, and I thought about how we should treat each other with the kind of loving attention that a conservator lavishes on an Old Master, and – well. Turns out either the language of art conservation is truly lacking in poetry, or I am much worse at this than I thought. Darnit.
I managed to glean two micro-poems, two tiny little ‘treatment proposals’. The first is a kind of instruction about treating your own self with patience.
Surface, glazed – a decision made
The second is more about treating others with compassion.
Whilst inherently unstable,
small tears can be repaired by
Then, because they were so teeny-tiny, I spent some time bigging them up via the application of Some Slightly Flashier Techniques, making one into a stop-motion film,
and the other into both a stop-motion and a collage.
The upshot is that I quite like the end products! The collage is on cardboard, something I’ve been meaning to try for ages, and which I felt duty-bound to do now because Himid’s work is on cardboard. It’s a fantastically accessible material, which I’m sure is a political statement on her part, and of course it’s a better environmental choice than buying art paper especially. I think I’ll keep on using cardboard in future projects.
The stop-motions are fairly crude, but I do love the process. I played around with filters for the first time, and liked the way a black-and-white resulted in great gashes of light appearing in the animation. It’s good to know that even if my lighting conditions at home are desperately amateur, I might still be able to salvage or even improve footage by using the right built-in cheats.
Next time, I combine erasure poetry with stop-motion, and try to pay homage to Himid’s politics. While I’m gone, here’s an automatic haiku generator for you to play with.
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