In November there will be an exhibition at St Margaret’s House in Edinburgh called Grown Together. Timed to coincide with the launch of the Tree Charter, this will feature the work of nineteen artists with a shared interest in trees. I’ve been working on video material for a loop which will be part of a small installation. The videos combine ambient audio captured in some local woodlands with animated text and readings of some of my poems from the small collection called Drawing breath.
Here’s a test piece for one of my videos. (Please ignore the headphone graphic near the start – it’s just there to indicate that there is audio to passing visitors).
The poem takes a tree’s-eye-view of passing humans, coming around to memory and how remembering works, or doesn’t…
Trees can be very big, and some of them are very old. Their character and way of life is complex, in many ways hidden, and very different from our own. They can make us pause and they can make us gasp.
drawing breath is a collection of twelve poems arising from a collaboration with visual artist Tansy Lee Moir.
I’ve made booklet with the poems, some photographs, and some of Tansy’s drawings, and I’ve also made a series of recordings of readings. Hope you like them!
You can find links to all of these and more about our collaboration here.
I’m excited to be working on a collaborative project with artist Tansy Lee Moir as part of her ‘Dialogue with trees’ residency. I’ve already made one visit to Calderwood in West Lothian to see and learn about the wonderful trees that are the subject of Tansy’s drawings. Over the next few months I hope to visit again, and in the meantime I’ve begun work on a short series of poems developed from ideas about trees and my reactions to Tansy’s artworks.
The residency is proceeding with a series of events and workshops, and will end on April 23d 2017 with an evening at the Howden Park Centre when Tansy will give a presentation about all her work during the residency, and I’ll be giving readings including poetry developed over the course of our collaboration.
You can see an exhibition of Tansy’s superb drawings of trees right now at the Howden Park Centre in West Lothian.
It’s been quite a long time since I first read a poem to a ‘live’ audience. A few years in fact. Last week I got around to standing up in front of a small group of people in a (fairly) public space again. The occasion was an ‘echo’ event at DCA where people were responding to an exhibition of the unusual slow animations of the artists IC-98. My poem tries to do it’s own explaining, so, I think I’ll just let it…
In response to an exhibition of work by IC-98. Dundee, January 2016. Continue reading
An aerty review…
The Meffan in Forfar is a great wee gallery, they regularly have excellent and engaging shows of work by contemporary artists. Tansy Lee Moir’s current exhibition “Time around trees” however, is something very special. This is the work of an artist who coming into her own, bringing many strands of past experience and interests together with convincing skill. Trees become passionate presences in Tansy Lee Moir’s drawings as she combines nature, sculpture and dance to deliver striking renderings of the arboreal made corporeal.
Some works are reminiscent of the sinews of dancers moving under fabric, others suggest the passage of an alternative measure of time, where trees are revealed dynamic and alive with tension and force: powerful creatures in fluid motion. Tree as living body, tree as river, tree as dramatic costume, tree as palimpsest.
Burred Oak (Dalkeith)
by Tansy Lee Moir
Yes, I do love trees, and for a long time I have tried to photograph what it was that fascinates me about them. I found much of that brought into clear focus here – and executed with that apparently enviable ease which can only be the product of long and sustained effort made good. And made better by a well planned collection, well lit, and well shown – so congratulations are due to those involved in every area.
If you love trees, or dance, or water (think Derges ‘Liquid From’), or sculpture, or draftsmanship, you should see this show. Quite simply – unmissable.
“Time around trees” by Tansy Lee Moir is at the Meffan in Forfar until 1st November 2014.
Foggy this morning,
Outside my head and in.
Autumn fog, rising in late summer heat.
I suffer an excess of insulation,
And scrunch my jumper into its pocket
While the dog waits as a handy standby batman.
Wet trees’ trunks arc seductively to plain-tone pales
Pocked by the slickly ripening domes
Of this season’s outcropping mushrooms.