How Words Became Art I Hold In My Hand

There’s a video at the end of this post…and it’s good too! But don’t skip the words between here and there. They only make the video better!

Conversations|Reconstructed

The Concept

I’ve always been fascinated with the question: “What if?”  What if we did that another way? What if something we value suddenly became something of no value or vice versa? What if the same words could tell a totally different story?

Several months ago, late at night, a ‘what if’ conversation led to an idea…What if I could take apart stories and rebuild them to tell completely different ones? This led to an experiment…which repeated itself several times over…leading to countless conversations…which turned into bigger and Bigger things…until it became…Conversations|Reconstructed.

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For me, I have to pursue writing and art in the same way I pursue breathing.

It must happen to stay alive.

This project is that “next breath” for me, in pursuit of creating, pushing boundaries and collaboration. Myself and everyone involved have been awed by where it has gone, and we are eager to see where it will continue to lead us as artists and creators.

The Notebook Where The Words Go

The Questions & The Details

What if I could take apart some of the greatest poems and use those words to reconstruct completely new stories? Could it be done? Could I do it? Would the words be able to tell different stories? Would I lose my voice if I could not choose my words, not a single one? Do words have enough meaning to tell different stories while they stay the same?

These are all the questions I asked myself as I began this journey. It was frustrating not to be able to choose my words but, as I started doing it, I saw the words, the same words, telling new and different stories.

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Once I completed a couple of reconstructions it became very apparent I needed visual artists to help bring my stories to life. I started searching out artists whose aesthetics, I believed, would interpret well with this project.  As each artist joined the project, (six in all: Illustrator, Sculptor, Graphic Designer, Painter, Lino Cutter/Digital Printer, and Street Artist) a beautiful collaboration began between these artists, my reconstructions and the iconic poets. Not only were we able to bring the poem sets to life visually (“poem set” being the term we use to describe an original poem, de-constructed word list and reconstructed poem), but each artist involved used the words to inspire their own story. 

You will recognize some of the greatest poets of all time in the works: Yeats, Kipling, Henley, Dickenson, Hughes, Frye, Brontë, Poe, Donne, & Frost.

As our team comes from various places in the world, you will also find an international flavour to our exhibition which brings an added dimension to these conversations.

I worried about the constrained creativity this project entailed. I mean, come on, a writer who doesn’t choose any of her own words?! I won’t lie, it was a struggle, and not only for me as the writer but for the visual artists as well. But we discovered even when you put parameters on and constrain creativity, creativity will not be constrained. Words carry meaning individually, and words together tell stories. You take them apart, put them back together and they can tell completely new stories. These stories then take on imagery, collaboration and multiple interpretations. Soon you find you are having new conversations out of the old ones! And…

The words became art we hold in our hands.

This is the true power of collaboration.

Together, more is possible than ever would have been on our own.

Here’s a sneak peek to aid your curiosity:

And here is a sample of a reconstructed poem:

Unto One

One robin fainting in his nest.

Or one heart breaking again.

One life I live in vain.

If I shall stop,

Cool, the pain,

If I can live, can ease,

I shall help.

Not vain or not from aching

unto one.

Reconstruction by Stacey Covell – (Original: ‘If I Can Stop’ by Emily Dickenson)

Conversations|Reconstructed tells beautiful stories, both written and visually, on the power of words. The power they have to change and stay the same, to cross cultures, to exhibit great beauty, to affect all our senses.

We are eagerly awaiting April 1st when we get into the gallery for set up and open the Exhibition a few days later! There is an opening evening reception on April 4th (RSVP). The exhibition then runs until April 19th. If you are in the area please stop by! Otherwise I hope you’ll visit via here or the exhibition web page.

If you like what you see why not consider donating to help fund this project. Costs cover venue, to the production of our Art Book and promotional materials, to hopefully being able to tour the project! Check it the specifics on the indiegogo fundraising site. There are loads of fun rewards you get for contributing too! You can also share and follow the campaign and exhibition there (under the video on the indiegogo page).

Here’s the link: http://igg.me/at/conrecon/x/5548328

You can also subscribe to the Conversations|Reconstructed webpage & blog, www.conversationsreconstructed.com, to learn more about the artists, keep up to date with the exhibition, and see behind the scenes pics!

And now, here’s the promised video. Benoit did an amazing job! Hope you enjoy it!

What do you like most about what you see? Leave a comment below. I’d love to talk more!

Conversations|Reconstructed

1 Exhibition

1 Writer

7 Visual Artists

10 reconstructions

20 poems

1,048 words…x3

4 April-19 April 2014

The Culture Box, Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Ireland

For the next few weeks I’ll be talking more about this exhibition, its artists, the art, the words, the poetry, the places…It’s all very exciting!!! Hope you’ll join in the fun!

The Writing Room (continued…)- The Drafts

Well, after 4 (yes! FOUR!) coats of paint, the job is done! The walls are now white and I’ve spent part of yesterday and today making the space functional. It’s taking shape as I imagined it. There’s still organising and adjusting to do but the hardest part of the project is behind me.

The Writing Room

The Writing Room

There are a few more things I am excited to share about this space but that will have to wait for now…

I’ll be seeing you in The Writing Room from now on.

Just Be – The Drafts

Would you believe that we haven’t had a Monday it two weeks? ;-) Okay, maybe not.

It is Monday and it is time for another edition of The Drafts. This week I’ve pulled something out from waaaay back when.

There was no title so “Just Be” is new. What do you think? I was also thinking about this title: “To Be Profound” or perhaps “To Be.”

Remember: The Drafts are all about works in progress. Please chime in with your perspective, insights, understandings, thoughts on improvements or better communication.

The Drafts

 

Just Be

Profundity becomes

Light of things desired

Less come

To those who seek

Forget that in

Pure simplicity

The profound

Of all, takes its peak.

To be profound

Neglect the desired

Just be.

The Karate Worm: His Worst Nightmare and His Best Dream – The Drafts

Today is my youngest’s 8th birthday. In honour of him and since Monday is The Drafts, I’m posting a story he recently wrote himself:

The Karate Worm: His Worst Nightmare and His Best Dream

Once upon a time there lived a worm. He was no ordinary worm. He was a karate worm.

A germ was walking and a cockroach ate him.

(I know you think the karate worm should be first, but he’s the third one.)

The cockroach was walking and a karate worm ate him.

The karate worm was walking and a bird ate him.

The bird was walking and a cat ate him.

The cat was walking and a dog ate him.

The dog was walking and a wolf ate him.

The wolf was walking and a tiger ate him.

The tiger was walking and a lion ate him.

The lion was walking and a giraffe ate him.

The giraffe was walking and an elephant ate him.

The elephant was walking and a whale ate him.

The whale was walking and ran into a worm.

The worm killed everybody except the karate worm, because he missed his best friend.

Every worm in the world came to the welcome back party.

THE END

By E. Covell

I Want To Say I’m Sorry – The Drafts

My Part: Each Monday I will post a piece of my own that is a work in progress. Sometimes it will be a new piece, sometimes it will be a new edit of an existing piece.

Your Part: Read it and comment. What stood out to you? Did this make an impact on you?Where was it hard to follow? Could you identify with the characters? Where did you just not buy it? Your feedback (even when it’s not easy to say or to hear) helps me be a better writer!

I Want To Say I’m Sorry

I want to say I’m sorry.

To the hurt. To those I’ve hurt. To those I’ve broken.

To the shunned, the forgotten, rejected.

To those dismissed.

You know who you are.

I want to say I’m sorry for the things I have done.

Because not enough people say it.

I’m sorry I told you that I didn’t like you any more.

I’m sorry I treated you as if you were unimportant.

I’m sorry I hurt you,

that I forgot,

and those other times that I didn’t when I could have chosen to.

I’m sorry someone told you your failure cancelled all the wonderful ways you made a difference.

I’m sorry someone wouldn’t let you be yourself and said you aren’t good enough.

I’m sorry that in your courage to be open, they told you they couldn’t love you anymore.

I’m sorry that love for one has often sacrificed love for another.

I’m sorry for the times the name of love has been used as an excuse to hate.

I’m sorry I didn’t do more, defend more, speak up more.

I’m sorry I treated my own fears as if they were your issues to resolve.

I’m sorry I try to change you when I really need to be trying to change myself.

I’m sorry too, that the person who needs to apologise to you isn’t here.

I’ll be here now, You put on the face you need me to be.

Because not enough people say it.

Because you need it. Because I need it.

I’m here to say, I’m sorry.

Believe

I believe in beginnings.

I believe in love,

I believe in hate,

I believe in satisfaction,

I believe in greed,

I believe in light,

I believe in darkness,

I believe in more,

I believe in less,

I believe in beauty,

I believe in ugliness,

I believe in hope,

I believe in destruction,

I believe in dreams,

I believe in failures,

I believe in rest,

I believe in turmoil,

I believe in life,

I believe in death,

I believe in truth,

I believe in lies,

I believe in fullness,

I believe in loss,

I believe in best effort,

I believe in deceit,

I believe in heat,

I believe in coldness,

I believe in more,

I believe in less,

I believe in endings.

-Stacey Covell