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

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