Unauthorized Audubon: A Conversation in Image and Poetry
Ground Floor East
September 8, 2012 – January 31, 2013
in partnership with the MSU Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
-->Opening reception and gallery tour: Sunday, Sept. 9, 2 p.m.
Periodically, the MSU Museum features works by MSU faculty and students, showing the creative output, research and projects that relate to the natural world and world cultures.
Presented here is a collaboration between
-Laura B. DeLind, Anthropology Department senior specialist
-Anita Skeen, RCAH professor
Poetry and relief print-making are different artistic media. They use different tools. They appeal to different senses. They attract different audiences. Yet bringing these two creative forms together has expanded our ability to appreciate them both.
We have found that despite their differences, poetry and print-making share much in common. Line and mass are critical elements for establishing the sound and structure of a poem. They are just as central to the composition and balance of a print. Repetition and high contrast are design principles often used to create a sense of power or conflict in a print. They are equally meaningful when used to create focus or tension within a poem. Likewise, metaphors – giving familiar ideas altered contexts and relationships – allow both poetry and print-making to challenge the world as we know it and to move us into new places of reflection and discovery.
The Unauthorized Audubon began with friendship and feathers: a new block print, an impulsive act, and a poem. You know how one gift leads to another. Soon there were flocks of words and fowl stanzas, block prints nesting in mailboxes, cooing in pockets, and skittering under doors. The birds in these prints had stories and lives and histories and big feet. Clearly they were remarkable creatures. As they fluttered from imagination to reality, they sang out for appreciation of their unique personae. Someone had to introduce them to this world. We were chosen.
Unlike Audubon, however, we are bringing new species to life, not documenting species on the brink of extinction. We are repopulating an avian imagination and the winged joy of possibility.