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Words and pictures -

poetry, sculpture and the poetics of space.

Someone asked me today about my work, my poem.

I explained about always having written - it was always words that I found and went to first, was transported by, loved, loved, loved. The sound of them in your head, the feel of them in your mouth. The pleasure of a book in your hands, the smell of the pages. The intimacy of scale, the intensity of the relationship. The look of black letters on a white page. The possibility.

But I didn't take up my place to study Literature. I did Sculpture instead. I wanted the physicality, the sensory experience, the cutting, shaping, fitting, deciding, balancing. I didn't know then that I chose Sculpture for all the reasons I loved poetry. I loved pitching myself against material. I loved the physical intensity of it. I found Bachelard in the second year of my degree and lost myself in 'The Poetics of Space'. I read and wrote more than I made sculpture. I turned inwards, remembered smallness, work became lighter. Drawings and installations were black and white like words, I projected videos travelling, super close up across scrunched up pages of my text, like travelling across mountain ranges. Mountains, landscape, words, a sensory, physcial experience of them. Trying to join them. Trying to use words without revealing what it was I was trying to say. My words were too secret, it never quite worked. Finding a way to link words and imagery is still a work in progress but works better for me when I can treat words like rocks, wood and clay, can walk among words like trees.

There are times, when language can still feel like a limitation - naming fixes things. Sometimes I don't know how to understand it or say it, I don't want to unpick it in a rational way. I don't want to think in that way. I love painting then, for the absence of language and the direct expression of something unnameable.

My drawing bridges this gap for me between words and painting - black and white marks on paper, they are language - but a different one.

#poetry #gastonbachelard #poeticsofspace


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