‘They are found in sun-kissed storm clouds, along frost-etched mountain sides, and in the silvery line separating ocean from cliff. Shadow and light – they are found in the murky depths of the delta, the dappled cool of a forest floor, and the subterranean dreams of poets. ‘
Thus begins the preface written by Martha Swinn in Writers North of 540’s fourth anthology, ‘shadows & light.’
This was an exciting creation for our group as we ventured on a year long collaboration with artist Joan Turecki. Her atmospheric and dense paintings were a rich opportunity for us to stretch our comfort zones with poetry while our dialogue inspired Joan’s exploration in pigment.
In this conversation between painting and poem, our group explored metaphors and images from Joan’s work.
With Changing Light Harold Feddersen’s poem “Estuary” reminds us of the edge we rub up against with growth: “your safe birth stream/now too small/downstream/into the estuary/a transition space/between former/and future you” while I, Joan Conway, consider the image of separation: “Your fingers reach out/but never quite touch/wanting to/part the silence,/undo the silk curtain of secrets,/allow intimacy’s tender hold/to bring you closer.”
Quiet Solitude: Pine Lake Walk
In response to “Quiet Solitude: Pine Lake Walk” Solveig Adair acknowledges the deep intimacy of trees with “let me be a/root let me sink deep into/soil knowing light/only by the whispers of/Raindrops.” while Norma Kerby responds to this painting with her homage “old trees/veterans from a/vanquished civilization of wood/artifact of an ancient forest/remnants fading back to shadows.
In response to “Fading Light” Martha Swinn explores the relationship of mountains with rain forest in “Tangled Dreams”, “A scud of mist trickling over seedy stalks and lifting to tree tops/Sganist – solid, grey, forever silent – cold tipped from last night/Rising above the mist to the sky; a pause of breath” while Jesse McCloskey examines her own identity with the vastness of mountains: “A wish to be relevant to the earth;/true and real./Sanity dances at the edge of reason./A stillness comes —/foreboding mountains speak:/Be careful,/There are no guarantees.”
Morning Mist in Valley
In response to “Morning Mist in Valley” Baxter Huston replies with the metaphor “All our summer dreams are illusory it seems, /and yet they chase the shadows from the corner./There’s always one more dream around the corner.”
And so thank you Joan Turecki for this opportunity to deepen our poetic experience with this collaboration. Your paintings remind us of the immense diversity and stunning beauty of this wild land in which we are blessed to live and give voice to.
Joan Turecki’s art exhibit ‘Shadow and Light’ opened at the Terrace Art Gallery for the month of November, 2018.
Left to right: Solveig Adair, Martha Swinn, Joan Turecki, Joan Conway, Harold Feddersen, Baxter Huston, Norma Kerby. Missing from photo: Jesse McCloskey