Here be Midnight

Monday, 4 July 2016

Unexpected Poetry

This year was my first ever year in the Open Studios event called Spring Fling. At the end of May every year Artists and Crafts people all over Dumfries and Galloway open their studio doors to the public.

For a person of slightly hermit like tendencies greeting near 500 people in 3 days is a lot. I am truly grateful to every person who climbed into The Old Burrow and for all of the wonderful things that happened within.

So many genuine and heartfelt conversations and stories, so much encouragement for the work. It seems for some, that the art and words touch them deeply and for others, it brings a smile to their face and a giggle into the room. As it turned out there were a few giggle spots in the exhibition. Such a lovely thing to occur.

One of the most unexpected things to occur and one of the most delightful was a lovely gentleman bustling back into the gallery after he had already been and bought and smiled. His eager strides made a beeline towards me and then he tapped my arm and beckoned me to stand before one of my own paintings. Without saying anything by way of introduction he began to recite a poem. So I stood there looking at my own artwork as though it did not belong to me hearing words that brought it to life in a completely new way. It is and was such an honour to be a part of the ever unfolding process of creativity.

It is curious the way words and pictures stir us deeply and personally. I was educated to believe that there was one dictionary meaning for a word and that was it. Occasionally words could have more than one meaning and of course the dictionary carefully explains these irregularities so that we can be clear.

My own love of language never quite fitted into the mainstream idea of correctness. I have an irreverent attitude towards grammar and if a word doesn't exist that I feel quite captures what I want to convey I am quite happy to make one up. 

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said
in rather a scornful tone. "It means just what
I choose it to mean - neither more or less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you
can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty,
"which is to be master - that's all." 

Lewis Carroll 

It is a strange and wonderful thing, that when reading or hearing a word, next to our intellectual understanding of its dictionary definition it is always coloured by our own personal palette of visions and feelings.  And when we place strings of words together,  this palette widens like a vast sky casting its own particular light and shade giving the listener or the reader a completely unique experience. Such a beautiful phenomenon but one that is fraught with the dangers of inevitable miscommunication. I love the phenomenon as a creative spectacle.

 One of the most wonderous things about being a parent is being able to, to a certain extent, witness the world again through your child's eyes. Mine are adults now and I still enjoy the spectacle.

To be able to see some of my own artwork through someone else's eyes was such a pleasure. So here follows a few poems written by John Horn to go with some of my pictures. A sincere thank you to both John and Margaret Horn for their support of my work. I am truly grateful.

What solemn plea
does this slender girl
clasp between 
her yearning palms

Heart Window

A girl is standing still with a palace in her heart
Its blue onion domes reach the sky
And inside the palace is a princess set apart
With the look of one about to cry.
She opened her chest and was left quite bereft
As out flew two swallows and a dove
And with it escaped all the dreams she had left
All her futures once filled with love.
Now the girl standing still must shutter up the doors
To hide away the palace so grand
And wander the track of lonely open moors
Till finding another magic land.

 Dream Truth

Your images are dreamlands of the heart
with magic hues and lines precise
that bring false truth to light
and hold a fairground mirror to reality.