Archives for posts with tag: poetry

IMG_2138What to do? Fall is falling upon us, and we sit at home and make or eat pies. Or, at least we want to. However, before the leaves and then the snow flies, it would be good to get in a few dashes of culture, networking, and enrichingly fun times.

Two events to mark in your cultural calendar (one of which you could just remember, since it is tomorrow night…)

Saturday September 28, from 6pm-9pm we are hosting a vernissage to celebrate our participation in Culture Days / Journées de la culture. See our exhibition Vue par la fenêtre – Through The Window.

Eight Montreal artists have been asked to ponder what they see from our ninth-storey view of downtown Montreal. The results are beautiful, a little bit haunting, and brightly talented.

Visit with most of the artists, have a glass of wine, and see the (night-time) view for yourself! Artists participating are Elissa Baltzer, Jose Duclos, Anna Grigorian, HasmiG, Natasha Henderson, Donna McGee, Sarah Robinson, and Susan Shulman.

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Then join us Saturday October 5, from 7:30pm for readings by Montreal-based poets and writers. Kelly Drukker, Jeffrey Mackie, Nick Tan, Nicolas Papaxanthos, Meredith Darling, and Christine Miscione will grace our “stage” for Through The WIndow – Readings.

See the exhibition at the same time, see the night-time view from our window, and meet with new or old friends. Guaranteed good times, unless you really require a chair… Seating is limited, but we promise the floor will be spotless. Feel free to bring a cushion!

Any enquiries, please do not hesitate to email us at: fleurbain@gmail.com

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

Creativity Alights by Sarah Robinson

Creativity Alights by Sarah Robinson

Life Lines. 38″x38″ Oil on canvas. Darlene St Georges

Opening with an evening vernissage next Saturday June 16 at 7pm, please join us and Darlene St Georges for her solo exhibition, From Left to Right.

Darlene’s work is incredible, intricate, thought-provoking and enveloping. As with all excellent painting, it should be experienced rather than just seen.  Washes, glazes, and layers of oil paint create a sublime surface of incredible depths for the viewer.

Of her work, Darlene says:

“I call this selected collection “From Left to Right”. These works explore the form, movement, light and energy of the organic in nature – releasing me into an aesthetic of the epiphany. The intention of these written works are to offer the viewer a point of entry for reflection.

My aim in creating these works was not to represent what I think but rather to explore what I know – somewhere inside me about the essence of things. It has been a process of connecting with my intuition and responding to those moments of epiphany – experiences I have had throughout my life where everything seems to simply connect in a fleeting spark, which alleviates and elevates me. In this position and I am released from the left side that orchestrates the list, schedules and plans that shape my life from day to day, month to month, year after year.

While painting I enter through the right into an alternative space-time dimension; seeing through and beyond into the essence of things. Here, I connect with and develop my intuitive, metacognative and metaphorical knowledge, which activates my imagination and ignites an energy that engages my whole being. For me this is an aesthetic of the epiphany that I can conjure up that affords me with a broader vision of what is possible, which I carry back into the world.”

Flora. 12″x12″ Oil on canvas. Darlene St Georges

Exhibited alongside the paintings will be some of Darlene’s poetry; work that further transports you to another time, thought, and place. This one, in particular, speaks to me about painting, creativity, and being connected to our natural world:

Immutable schedule of something imprecise.
I vanish;
transfixed and motionless, without restraint.
I recapture enchantment and dreams of splendor;
labyrinths of memories wash over my body;
remote cusps and oxygen.

From Left to Right continues to July 7


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See the online version of the show here.*** Work is all available for purchase, in person or online.

Vernissage June 16, 7-9pm at Fleurbain, 460 St Catherine St West Unit 917

Hours Thursdays 3-6pm, Saturdays and Sundays 12-6pm

See Darlene’s catalogue of the show here.

This month was something of a “Poetry” month at Fleurbain. We hosted our first ever literary event, Open Mike Poetry Night (with no Mike) last weekend. We enjoyed original poetry, read by their authors. We sipped some fine herbal tea. We munched on ginger cookies. We all met new creative people, and new ideas and thoughts about collaborations were hatched, just in time for pre-Spring.

Jeffrey Mackie, a Montreal poet and literary radio host on CKUT, read some of his work. I managed to record some of it with the help of my trusty little smart phone. You can enjoy Jeffrey’s work for yourself:

The idea to host a poetry reading was inspired by the current art exhibition, Poetry, which is a collection of paintings whose structures were based on poetic formats. This is all my own work. I am going to be there this weekend from 3pm-6pm Saturday and Sunday for Gallery Hours, if you would like to drop in and say “Hello!” at some point.

Stay tuned for more stuff happening at Fleurbain… next weekend will be a new group show vernissage, Art and Architecture. Featuring works by Denise Buisman Pilger, Marc Chabot, Naomi Frangos, Jennifer Hamilton, Keivan Khademi, and Kimberley Mok… this is sure to be an amazing and life-altering exhibition!

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

The other day I made a three-minute walk-about film of my exhibition “Poetry”. I had wanted to share the experience of walking through the exhibit, as well as the photos of individual works, online. Here it is:

The show is on until March 1st. Keep your eyes open for an announcement about an upcoming poetry-reading, as well as a simple book-binding workshop… and indeed, the rumours are true. Iggy (my cat) will publish a chap-book of his Catku that will soon be available! –Natasha Henderson

Fleurbain is located in downtown Montreal, at 460 St Catherine West, unit #917. Gallery hours are 3pm-6pm, Tuesday through Sunday, or by appointment.

A few years ago, I was captivated by a discussion about a poetic format.

I was jogging with a poet friend and we were discussing this format, the Ghazal. She was describing the formal rules of the poem, and how poets opt to follow, break, bend, and twist those rules. We talked about the deeper meaning of those rules, and how culture and time changes the poetic form. It (the poetic format in question) stays alive by adapting, yet keeping its formalities.

Ghazal Four by Natasha Henderson

I was inspired to make a small series of Ghazal paintings.

To begin and function, I needed to decide how I would express the ideas of rhyming couplets, how to express rhythm. I worked out my system, and began. After and during working on these, I thought and wondered about other poetic forms, and how they would “translate” into painting. I eventually moved on to the Sonnet.

Open Sonnet Three by Natasha Henderson

Using a similar approach, but not so free-formed, I painted lines. I painted the idea of iambic pentameter. I painted in “rhymes” (similar shapes.) Then I went to town. I came up with five different paintings using this form.

Again owing to my creative process, I was thinking ahead while I was focussed on these works. What if I painted specific Sonnets? I grabbed my trusty old book of Shakespeare, and let myself be inspired by specific Shakespeare sonnets. I chose my works, and began each of these new paintings with an oilstick drawing, in response to the poem. I didn’t stick with the “format” idea so much as I had before, rather loosely interpreted in image what I was reading.

Shakespeare Sonnet 65 by Natasha Henderson

After having worked on them for what seemed to be long enough, I decided to let the Poetry Paintings rest for a bit. I painted other bodies of work. I did talk about these paintings with people, I did sell some, I did have opportunities to show them, scattered within group exhibitions. Then, an opportunity came to exhibit them all together for the first time. Once I realised I would be doing this, I immediately began working on another poetic format in painting: the Haiku. With the Haiku, I have opted to be a little pictorial, not so abstract in the painting. There is a hint of either landscape or nature in these poems/paintings. –Natasha Henderson

The exhibition Poetry opens this Saturday 21 January, and runs during regular Gallery Hours 3pm to 6pm Tuesday through Sunday, at Fleurbain until March 1. Please join us for a vernissage this Saturday from 6pm onwards.

Fleurbain is located at 460 St Catherine West, Unit 917.

During this exhibition we will feature a poetry reading (with guest authors) and artist talk on February 4th at 7pm. Stay tuned!

Iggy, the creator of many a Catku

My cat has his own Facebook page. When he’s online, he tends toward writing about his feelings and experiences in Haiku form. In honour of a true full “spring/summer” day, complete with the window left open for over 24 hours, following are some examples of his work.

a spring-time sleep

full of cat-nip and water

tomorrow, I dance

morning, late rising

no sun today just the clouds

resting in my nest

Mother: ticka-tick

Tick Tick Tick. Typing so much

As I sleep, so sound.

crunch of my pellets

listen: the traffic goes by

out there, in the sun

I was in the sun

but it has shifted away

warmth stays in my fur

the other eye winks

 

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

The book Random, Absurd Poetry is an externally bound book. You can see excerpts from this book on this website.

We’re getting into the crunch-time for gifts, be they DIY or store-bought. We all love DIY gifts… but who wants to shop for supplies right now? It’s mayhem out there! One thing you can make out of simple materials that you might have on hand, is a book.

A book’s construction has three basic elements: the covers, the pages inside, and some sort of binding-method. I won’t go into the intricacies of book-binding here, but I will suggest some simple ideas for book-making.

A long strip of paper glued together, and a couple of covers form a simple book.

When I took a book-making course back in college, the very first book we made was a zig-zag accordion format book. Basically, we took pieces of paper and glued them together to form a long strip, then folded that strip into a zig-zag. We then cut some hard board to a little larger than the folded pages, and glued the accordion of paper inside the two covers. Simple.

You could leave the book blank, or fill it with art, poetry, a story... etc.

Another idea for simple book-making is to just staple. Make your cover, make some pages for inside, and add a couple of staples to “bind” them all together. A lot of poets and underground zine publishers use this method to make their books.

A little more fancy idea, but very beautiful, is to create an external binding. I have three examples of this: in one, my friend used an elastic and a stick to bind his book. In the two others I used materials to “sew” the covers and pages together.

This poetry Chapbook is small, just a few pages held together with two staples.

Now, as for the covers, I do recommend a board that is not soft and mushy like corrugated cardboard. However, if that’s all you have, then perhaps gluing a couple of pieces together would be sturdy enough to use. You can cover the covers of your book with decorative paper or fabric, just wrap it like a present. On the insides of the covers glue another piece of paper on top to cover the ugly-bits nicely. Really take a good look at some of your older, bound books. You’ll see a real artistry to it. One of these days, maybe in February, I’ll go over some more intricate book-binding options.

My friend's book on the left, my book on the right. Just punch holes through the covers and insides of the book, and you can bind.

The insides of the book? That’s up to you! You could share a favorite family story, a children’s story, draw a cartoon, paste some photographs… share some favorite poems, or leave it blank. Everyone needs notebooks!

Natasha Henderson, Montreal

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