03 March 2010

Write me a picture

I frequently say that sculpture is the visual-plastic art with which photography has most in common. Beyond the visual-plastic, however, there are other close relations. I recently characterised Julie Heyward's "non-bird" compositions as sculptural; I could with equal validity have described her avian sets (such as Slow dance, on which I was commenting at the time) as performance pieces.

And then there are writers whose activities strongly over lap with those of photographers. Poets do it most often; short story writers come next. Contemporary novelists more often tap in to the collective visual memory expanded by television, cinema, photography and other lens based media, but some do still specialise in constructing photographic images of their own from distilled words. The following is taken from The memory keeper's daughter:

It was a long time before she opened her eyes, and then she was startled by both the darkness and the beauty all around: a small oblong of light, reflected off the glass doorknob, quivering on the wall. Paul's new blanket, lovingly knit, cascading like waves from the crib. And on the dresser David's daffodils, delicate as skin and almost luminous, collecting the light from the hall.

  • Kim Edwards, The memory keeper's daughter [1964: III]. 2007, London: Penguin Books. 9780141030142 or 0141030143 (pbk)


Julie Heyward said...

Boy, that's a beautiful bit that you quoted (in Growlery Green TM). Very fine.

I was, just yesterday, trying (which "trying" is a bad sign right there) to like the poems in a review of a book of "photographic poems", Catch the Light by Sarah O'Brien. But her poems just don't do a thing for me. I think she's too, I don't know, mechanical? Too frontal? Her voodoo isn't working.

Felix said...

Hey ... green is so last week, man.

Growlery Grey (R) is the new green...


Felix said...

O'Brien: just followed your link and read the fragments.

I probably like them more than you do, but nevertheless agree with you in general. Too "conscious" would have been my word ... she, too, is "trying".