Poetry and Art

Another week has gone by at Art School or Uni as everyone now calls it!

We were asked to make a piece of art in response to a poem. We were give a selection of 12 to choose from. I had to read and re-read the poems to try to find one that inspired me and let my imagination take over. I narrowed it down to two poems then to the one I eventually used. The Poem by Robert Gray.

The vision of the woman bringing in the washing and the smell of the fresh washing, folding seams, together with the moonlight was my starting point.

My tutor was helpful in explaining more about the poem and then I was off creating a mind map of my ideas for it.

We have four days to finish each project so it really makes you make decisions very quickly something I’ve not had to do much of up till starting this course. I thoroughly enjoyed making my textile piece this week. I used a real variety of fabrics and a whole range of techniques including grinding fabric between two stones to wear and distress it. I really loved adding the final hand stitching I found it very relaxing and satisfying.

I hope to enjoy the Poem and my response to it.

The Poem

The paddocks there are so wide open

she says you always feel

that the lid has been left off everything.

It’s all gone hard and stale.

The children have to stay in the shade;

they hang on the verandah,

and the game they fight about is discovering

a demand upon her.

On the backs of her hands, in this light, open

small, dry screams.

She is bringing in the sunlit bed-clothes,

putting together the seams.

Sheets still pegged she takes into her fist,

and stands inhaling each one:

taut with air, white as a heron in the moonlight.

This, which she has done.

ROBERT GRAY (Meanjin; Vol. 60 Number 2 2001. First published in New and Selected Poems, Duffy & Snellgrove, Sydney 1998)

Calm at the End of the Day


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