One of the hopes of Creative Thresholds is that different art forms and genres meet and that the convergence inspires creatives of all types, resulting in dialogue and possibly collaboration. In this post, a poem, which had been inspired by a painting, in turn inspires a film. The process and the individual works are…magical.
Watch the film, “Ladder Our Boat,” and read about the process from both the poet, Maureen Doallas, and the filmmaker, Swoon (AKA Marc Neys).
The video is best seen on full screen with good volume.
Melissa, curator and editor
Creative Remix – Word in Sound and Image
by Maureen E. Doallas and Swoon (AKA Marc Neys)
A Ladder Our Boat
after Holly Friesen’s Warrior Canoe
When we make a tree a ladder, we climb
out of the flaming fire, through our fear.
We are each from earth’s guts spilled,
Persephone rising, wild mint lacing
loose braids, sheaves of grain in hand,
spring’s re-welcoming cheered.
When we make the ladder our boat, we sail on
a kiss of wind above the Hades of our making,
spirits water-rocked in Zeus’s arms, seeds
of the pomegranate bursting, our offspring
We strike our fevered blessings on the wood,
water-tight, wave at the moon we circle twice:
the light, our safe harbor, shore.
© Maureen E. Doallas
Printed with Permission of Author
Maureen: Nic Sebastian, an excellent poet herself, is the founder of The Poetry Storehouse, which is dedicated to promoting “new forms and delivery methods for page-poetry”; the site has become a terrific repository of poems in text, audio, and video. I submitted five poems, which Nic accepted, with the understanding that any and all would be made freely available for creative remixing. Among the selections is my poem “A Ladder, Our Boat”. The poem first appeared in the Image-ine series at TweetSpeak Poetry; Image-ine, to which I’ve contributed numerous ekphrastic poems (including a series inspired by Lisa Hess Hesselgrave‘s paintings), is a place for discovering and learning about and sharing poetry that is inspired by paintings or other media. “A Ladder, Our Boat” was inspired by Holly Friesen‘s exquisite painting “Warrior Canoe”; I shared the poem with Holly after I wrote it, and she was kind enough to allow us to use an image of the painting at Image-ine.
Marc Neys aka Swoon, who is a tremendous talent, first sent me a message via Facebook to listen to a soundtrack he’d composed for my poem “A Ladder, Our Boat”. I expressed my delight, and was thrilled Marc was setting my poem. Marc continued developing his concept for the poem, incorporating images from footage he collected. Unlike some of Marc’s other remixes, this one has no narration. Marc’s completed videopoem is “Ladder Our Boat”. Marc is entirely responsible for concept, camera, editing, and music. I am very pleased with the result.
Swoon (Marc): For my latest video for a poem taken from The Poetry Storehouse I went back to my early days. That is to say, there was a need to create a videopoem without a voice again (and I hadn’t done that in a long while).
I started with collecting a series of images that could either tell a new story or create a different path to go on when combined with a certain line from the poem. Once I had collected the footage and paired them with certain lines, I needed a timeframe. So I created a soundtrack with a lot of background noises (breathing, scratching, squeaking,…).
With these sounds I started editing the chosen footage. I combined the lines of the poem with the images. Giving the words space and time to take root in or react to the images. I love this way of working and I wonder why I don’t use that technique more often… Yes these works need to be played on a larger screen for full effect!
Maureen E. Doallas is the author of Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems (T.S. Poetry Press, 2011). Her work has appeared in the anthologies Open to Interpretation: Water’s Edge, Open to Interpretation: Love & Lust, and Oil and Water…And Other Things That Don’t Mix; and in Felder Rushing’s book Bottle trees. Her poems also have appeared in Every Day Poems, The Woven Tale Press Magazine, The Found Poetry Review (special David Foster Wallace edition), The Victorian Violet Press & Journal, The Poetry Storehouse, VerseWrights, Escape Into Life, Poets for Living Waters, Red Lion Square, The Beautiful Due, the sad red earth, The Poetry Tree, and Englewood Review of Books. Her interviews and feature articles have appeared at TweetSpeak Poetry and The High Calling. Maureen writes daily at her blog Writing Without Paper, is an Artist Watch editor for the online arts magazine Escape Into Life, and a contributing writer to Manhattan Arts and TweetSpeak Poetry. An art collector, she owns a small art-licensing company, Transformational Threads.
Social Media: I’m on SheWrites, FaceBook, Twitter, Goodreads, SoundCloud, and LinkedIn.
Another collaboration of mine: http://juancarloshernandezphotographe.blogspot.com/2011/07/night-stalkingcollaboration-with-poet.html
Swoon (AKA Marc Neys) (°1968, Essen, Belgium) is an artist who works in a variety of media; he’s a video-artist / soundscape-constructor.
“His work is provocative, beautiful and disturbing. Using poems as guidelines, Swoon (Marc Neys) creates video and soundscapes that is instantly recognizable for its dreamlike quality as well as the skill with which the artist extracts new meaning from the poems he illuminates.” (Erica Goss)
Swoon’s work has been featured at film and video-art festivals all over the world.
In 2014 Swoon released his first album of soundscapes ‘Words/No Words’ on Already Dead Tapes. He curates, gives workshops and writes a monthly column for Awkword Paper Cut.