Friday, March 16, 2012

The Tenderness of Light, the reading

Posted by Mary McCallum

The reading of my book The Tenderness of Light at the opening of Translucent Landscapes was recorded on video by Mike Ting, and I edited it with images from the book and the place the poems talk about: our property in the Wairarapa over summer. Making the video has felt like an extension of the book-making and the poetry.

It's been a challenge - watching myself and listening to my own voice reading over and over (!), learning how to delete unwanted sounds/interjections etc and putting the video together with images that are evocative without being dominant -- and by that, I mean evocative of both place and book. I feel I could improve on the reading and hope to do so in the Wairarapa before long.

Meanwhile, Tenderness is selling well to poets, poetry readers, friends and family (thank you!) ... Here is one happy customer! Copies are going off to San Francisco and Boston and London, to Dunedin and the Wairarapa, and many places in between. Wonderfully, I have gone over the 50 mark in terms of sales, so just under 50 more to go.

You can still buy the books from Translucent Landscapes at 75 Ghuznee St, Wellington until March 22. I am there tomorrow (Sunday) 11 am - 6 pm, if you want to talk about the poems and have me write your name in the book. They are already signed and numbered. Or click the button in the sidebar of this blog. Or email Details below.

The Tenderness of Light 
Poetry, signed limited edition of 100 books. Six poems.28 pages. Garamond font on uncoated 100 gsm Munken paper with flax photograph on Gilclear insert, 240 gsm Munken cover, and hand-sewn linen thread binding. $15

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cloud Cutter

Posted by Clementine Woodhouse Appleby  

I was employed to help artist Helen Reynolds get her cloud installation ready for the Translucent Landscapes exhibition. It all starts with a drawing by Helen that looks something like this:  

My job was to trace the shape onto a new piece of paper and label it; then I had to cut off the outside layer and and draw around the new shape - which became the next layer. This process was repeated until all of the cloud layers were drawn separately onto paper. Then the cutting began! 

Every shape had to be cut out and kept organised. When a whole cloud had been cut out, I started gluing. We glued small squares of foam board to the biggest layer (the first one I cut), and then put dollops of glue on top of each square and laid the next biggest size on top of that, smoothing it down to strengthen the bond. We kept moving down in size but up in height, until eventually the clouds really began to form before our eyes.  

There were regular caffeine breaks of course - there are only so many squiggly lines one can look at before they start moving on the page in front of you!

At the same time as all of this was going on, the other artists were popping in and out, getting their work finished and their rooms ready for the opening. They came during their lunch breaks and as soon as they had finished work, which really showed me their dedication to their art and how much they cared about it.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Helen and know I’ll never look at a cloud the same way again! The whole experience has given me a new appreciation for artists and art alike and I hope this exhibition continues to go really well for all these lovely people.

Clouds by Helen Reynolds

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

At the opening

Mary McCallum reads from The Tenderness of Light

Listening to the poetry (artist Molly Samsell on the left)

artist Poppy Lekner on the left

Our venue is a great space and the curving bar was fab!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ice - Iain Gordon

This is the premiere of Ice, composed by Iain Gordon, on the opening night. Played by Slava Fainitski (violin), Paul Stewart (guitar) and Iain Gordon (mandolin).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Exhibition Opens!

Posted by Mary McCallum

The preparation is over. The exhibition is launched! Around 100 people came along and helped us celebrate it on Thursday night - interacting with the art work, talking to artists, buying what they liked the look of, watching the performances, knocking back glasses of wine - and they continue to come every day to 75 Ghuznee St between 11 am and 6 pm.

We will post videos of the music performance and the poetry reading that were part of the opening in due course, meanwhile here's the poem I began my reading with - it's the first poem in the limited edition book I have produced for the exhibition. The 'Helen' in it is Helen Reynolds, our fabulous curator.

Preparing for an Exhibition

All the talk today is about this.
Helen who lives in the house I used to live in,
who cooks in my kitchen, makes paper clouds
where we ate, alights on the word translucent,
but moves on – via the deception of clouds –
to what she wants to say all along,
the word I’ve been avoiding perhaps because
I say it vainly every day: clarity clarity clarity
until it sounds like a horse running
down the road without its rider. Helen
doesn’t hear the horses, she only hears the lick
of gauzy rain from gauzy clouds:
ity ity ity –
and is already imagining how hers might be –
layers of paper like onion skin. Really,
she wants to stop the dissembling. See the clouds,
you can touch them. Live in them, even.
Clarity, then. Not just the brilliance
of the tui clawing flax flowers outside
the kitchen window – black feathers like embers,
the comedy of its throat, ty ty ty as it sucks –
but the way through to other side
of the tui and the flax where a luminous
idea resides. The tenderness of light.
Here at last in plain sight.

                                            Mary McCallum

With thanks to ‘Meditation at Lagunitas’ by Robert Hass