As a writer, I love people who play with words well. It is also very inspiring when an artist takes some words, a poem per se, and is inspired by the imagery and wisdom to then create a piece of art. Words are a catalyst for so much. It is said than “the pen is mightier than the sword” (penned by Edward Bulwer-Lytton for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy, 1839). But when it inspires beautiful visual art, it’s a great play of human spirit touching another human spirit and then more beyond that. I love that.
This winter I have had the incredible honor of getting to know a very talented artist/sculptor named Gale Jamieson better. Gale and I first met several years ago at a party on a large farm very close to her small farm in SE Pennsylvania, near Stewartstown. It was her organic farmer son whom I met first, and then Gale. They both impressed me as quite gifted and high integrity people.
This past year I ran into Gale three times. The first of these was a Transition Town gathering at a farm near hers. Once that daylong meeting was over a couple of us trundled over to her small farmhouse for a movie. It was great fun.
The next time I saw Gale was at a film about Fracking, called Gasland. The film showing was at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore and Gale had been pushing the leadership of the CA to showcase the film to the Baltimore community because of the environmental and public health ramifications of Fracking. I’ve blogged about that previously.
The third time was in early fall when Gale had a gallery opening at the Creative Alliance. We struck up a conversation about intentional communities and sustainability and promised to stay in touch though she was about to go to France for two months on an artist fellowship. (That adventure certainly does speak to her gifts.)
Long story short, Gale and I reconnected this winter. And then I sent her one of my poems. Whereupon she sent me a poem that inspired one of her sculpture series. (I hope that I’m saying that right.)
I love the poem and pleaded for her to send me photos of the installation after reading the poem. So she did. And now I’m sharing all of this with you – the poem and photos of her art. With her blessings. It is so fascinating to see how one art form – poetry can inspire an artist to create a visual from her interpretation of the written word. So fascinating the creative process. Another artist would probably have found another very unique way to express what the poem meant to him or her.
If you’d like to learn more about Gale and her work, here is her website. Please try to make it to one of her openings if you are in the region. You will not regret it. She is a superb sculptor and I’m honored to call her ‘friend’ now also.
Here is the poem:
ON FOOT I HAD TO WALK THROUGH THE SOLAR SYSTEMS
I had to walk through the solar systems,
before I found the first thread of my red dress.
Already, I sense myself.
Somewhere in space hangs my heart,
sparks fly from it, shaking the air,
to other reckless hearts
And Gale’s work inspired by the poem. An installation at the Evergreen House in Baltimore, Maryland (not sure the date):