Friday, February 28, 2014

Painter, Poet, Beggar, Thief - a poetry salon @ Urban Gallery, last day of my show there!

Tomorrow is the LAST DAY of my show at Urban Gallery and we are ending it with a kick-ass Poetry Salon, Poet Painter Beggar Thief, featuring five poet painters: Luciano Iacobelli, Nik Beat, Norman Bethune, Jennifer Hosein and moi. Jennifer is kindly hosting the salon. Her poster is uber cool.

I'll be reading from my Suite of Botticelli Venus Poems, and the first poem is about the scent of magnolias (flower sacred to Venus) on my tongue...

I wonder if this test recording will work? Sorry, if I remove the post because it doesn't.

Ok, it's the craziest little thing, but I'll leave it. I was testing out something for, ahem, future 'real' recordings. Lol!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Another still from my edited video of the performance of Ink Ocean at Urban Gallery...

Rising to the surface for a bit. Hi everyone! How're y'all doing?

I'm still working on the video. There are very minor things that no-one else will notice and I may just leave - there wasn't enough light in the gallery and so when I boosted the light in the editing process I also gained grain and a loss of clarity - after adding a filter to remove some of the noise, it has taken about 3 days to render the video! Enough is enough. Any other changes will have to be done to a master file. Also, I think the sound needs to be entirely re-done. But is that because I am not just immersed in the editing of this performance piece but drowning in it? Lol. I hope it's ready before the last day of my show at Urban Gallery on Saturday!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Some of my crazy digital magic using FCPX...

'Find darkness; bring it in. Find light; bring it in. IN.' -from Ink Ocean.

Some digital magic from the videopoem I am working on. On screen for maybe 12 seconds including dissolves in and out. This videopoem is like that. Will have to decrease it in size and fade it out somewhat, or destroy it even more than that in the final version of the video, but I thought I'd show you its present state. It's a 're-working' of my ink drawing, Ink Ocean (from which the poem arose).

The image (and it's got a little animation too) is such a complex construction that I have saved it as a separate project and am going to make a .mov file out of it and insert that back in to the main timeline. That way I can decrease its size and fade it out as a whole.

Here is the compound clip over the main timeline a little later - it changes in colour, as well as being a little bit animated:

In the process of making this post, I decided to uploaded the clip, all 12 seconds of it! Some of it actually changes colour throughout the sequence when it is part of the main timeline, as in the image above.

The original drawing, which does appear in different manifestations in the videopoem:

Monday, February 17, 2014

The timeline is becoming more complex...

Getting there, slowly... perhaps 75% done, it's hard to say ...tissues still piling up beside me -good news is it's not bronchial  because I can breathe deeply with no crackly sounds (I will visit the doc in another week or so if it doesn't let up).

The video editing timeline, as you can see, is becoming more complex, and I have made a few compound clips already. Actually, what I'm doing is a complete 'no no' in the more academic videopoetry circles because I'm illustrating. It's like I'm captioning with images - except it takes a lot longer than adding text and is if-y the whole while. Speaking of captions, I still have to subtitle, which [groan] is gonna take time too.

Good thing I'm still under with the post-flu blues. Wouldn't have the patience for this level of detail otherwise. [Bright side look.]


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Work on videopoem, Ink Ocean, continues...

The mild fever and sinus headache, after 5 straight days, dissolved away yesterday. I am at the stage that is the last hurrah at the end of a bug run after which it should clear up but it might turn and dig in and descend into the bronchial passages. Since I am prone to bronchitis, I am still taking it easy. I do hope it is almost done its course and the appropriately created antibodies are now part of the inner army.

With boxes of tissues beside me, I've continued editing the video of the performance I did of Ink Ocean at Urban Gallery on Jan 29th. It's, well, you will have to wait.

Here's a teaser - a snapshot of a moment that is only a few actual seconds in the videopoem but an interesting image never-the-less.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

The flu, a-chu!

Still around, still lots of photographs to crop, brighten a bit, and post. Had a bout of the flu (a-chu!) that seems to be hanging on. Hope everyone's doing well, and I'll be back, yes, yes.

Working on a video - first in well over a year or longer ...but then, being sick keeps you in one spot restin' - only who can do nothing all day long? So far, I have 70 video clips to add to my video - days of research and now we'll see how my sensibility and aesthetic craft this performance piece. Doing it, I realize that I really do have a 'style' that is quite unique and it seems that that sensibility and aesthetic continue to build on my 'style' and develop it. I really don't see videos like mine anywhere - probably because I use a tripod, do a performance, and work on the presentation as a visual artist creating a painting. I do it as a flat piece, without dips and dives, camera angles, scene changes, or any glitz at all. The style of my video oeuvre is a throw-back to the early days of cinema when there were no camera angles, no in-the-scene action shots. My performance poetry videos show the stage, the way cell phone vids of concerts do, but I work to make a different sort of magic in them. I like to let the poetry speak for itself, as it would if you were in the actual audience. Real film people of course don't like my video poems. They are considered boring, I suppose. But I don't think film students and practitioners are who my audience is, or the one I'm aiming for. Even without the support of the video/film/poetry community, I do quite well. I like to think it is because I am very clear on what I am doing and who I am doing it for and all I can say is I am actually quite happy with the success of my work (in relative terms - videopoetry is the least watched genre on YouTube - 200 views in a year is a successful videopoem, really, and my serious videopoems do much better than that).


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Three Split Masks

Split Mask painting (for sale) and me in my handmade Split Mask at Urban Gallery where I had performed my poem, Split Mask, on January 29, 2014.

Original photo by Josef Hochleitner (see below), and then I spent hours photoshopping it to bring all the masks out of the shadows since it was a night time indoor shot.

Because I thought you might be curious, here is the wonderful photograph by Josef that I started with. He took it with his Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a flash at night and indoors. You can see in my final photograph the colour corrections I did, and how I highlighted the masks themselves (all closer to the original on the wall currently at Urban Gallery).

Sunday, February 02, 2014

More to come...

Tons of photos, some video, and drawings to post from recent events I've organized at Urban Gallery to promote my Poempaintings show, but fatigued, been far too busy. A short note to say you will soon be inundated.

photo by Josef Hochleitner

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lady of the Moon

Lady of the Moon. I sewed this simple robe from a swath of beautiful lilac shantung silk for my private Goddess worship rituals in the 90s. I'd surround myself with a circle of pebbles from my cottage, and candles. I had an altar with spirals and sacred stones and Green and White Tara figurines, and the four elements - sand, incense, water in a shell, a burning candle in a 5-pointed star holder - behind which I hung my painting of the Sri Yantra. I followed rituals from books, both Western and Eastern, and I'd meditate and commune with the angelic forces... Bringing the robe out from the back of the cupboard flooded me with memories today. Perhaps we all pass through spiritual currents of one sort or another in our lives. This robe saw me through a particularly spiritually rich time. The memories make me smile inwardly.

I took the photo to show my fellow poets at our Performance Poetry evening tomorrow night as a possibility for a costume for some minimalist dance/creative movement to go with one of the readings. We are rehearsing tonight, and so will decide what works and what doesn't.

John and I already met for a jam to see how his music and my poetry might go together. Then I thought to offer some movement or dance to his reading in return. He thought that was okay. Yesterday morning, we each read through our poems and recorded them and sent each other the recordings along with the full text of our pieces so that he could think of what sounds to use with my poems and I could get a grasp of the images, image patterns, emotional undercurrents and the expressed emotions, as well as the heady stuff for moving creatively to/ dancing to his poems. Tonight we are meeting with Luciano to see if John's playing and me doing a minimalist, stuttering, shoulder-oriented dance (that centres around the larynx) in the lilac shantung robe with the split mask might also work to add a performative element to Luciano's poem. The actor who was going to perform with Luciano during his feature is out of town, so I am hoping to create something else so that our poems and their presentations adhere to the theme of the Poetry Salon: A Poetry Performance evening.

While unrelated to the Poetry Performance evening, as I was writing this post, I thought of a video I made, Shadow Cave, a dance with a voiceover based on one of the meditations I did in the 90s and which I wrote of in detail in my journal at the time. I thought you might be interested to see what sorts of things I got up to when I wore that robe:

direct link: Shadow Cave

And it is interesting that in the vision a woman is cave painting, and now the experts are saying that the hands on the caves of paleolithic and neolithic peoples are small, and likely womens'. (That said with a chuckle!)


Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Poetry Performance Evening on Jan 29th @ Urban Gallery featuring Luciano Iacobelli, John Oughton and Brenda Clews

Featuring: Luciano Iacobelli, John Oughton and Brenda Clews.

Luciano is a poet, visual artist and publisher. His work transgresses borders, edges, finds places where definition is bare. While his pared-down poetry is rich with literary and philosophical reflections and echoes for those who wish to delve into layers and meanings, it is always passionate.

Luciano is performing a piece entitled THE STUTTER NOTEBOOK: The piece employs a stylized stutter to reinforce the idea that all communication is stutter, all language is an attempt at arriving at fluid communication, but the attempt is destined to fail. Language itself is a faulty tool, unstable and full of hesitations. The best anyone can do is stumble to their meanings. The stumble has its own peculiarities, it's own beauty and rhythm. and the determination and drive behind the stumble is poetry.

John has worked as writer, musician, photographer, and performer. He was part of Toronto's improvisational dance/performance art scene, as performer, moving prop, musician and scriptwriter. He has staged his writing with slides, music, video, dancers, and even a battery-powered toy robot. His poetry also is hard to pin down, morphing from comic and satirical approaches to meditations on the presence of science, technology and nature in everyday life, and elegies.

Brenda is a multi-media artist who dances poems in hand-made masks that often find their way into paintings. Thirteen paintings from her Poempaintings Series are currently on show at Urban Gallery. She will be performing in full gear at this Poetry Salon - expect masks, creative movement, rich and sensual poetry - and to see the poempaintings hanging on the walls in a new light.

(PWYC, suggested minimum donation $5.)


LUCIANO IACOBELLI is a poet, publisher and visual artist. He is the author of numerous chapbooks and 3 full length books of poetry. His book The examined Life is being published by Guernica Editions in 2016. He is the co-owner of Quattro Books, and the publisher of Lyricalmyrical press.

Born in Guelph, JOHN OUGHTON has lived in the Middle East, Japan, and Nova Scotia, but always seems to return to Toronto. He completed a BA and MA at York U., where he studied with Irving Layton, Miriam Waddington and Eli Mandel, and also was a "graduate assistant" to Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He is the author of five books of poetry -- most recently, Time Slip from Guernica Editions-- and several chapbooks. His first novel, Enough of Hate, will be published by Neopoiesis Press around the end of 2014. John is also a photographer with three solo exhibitions to his credit. He works as Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College.

BRENDA CLEWS is an African-Canadian poet, painter, videopoet and editor living in Toronto, Canada. She has edited textbooks, written articles for newspapers, taught yoga, done temporary office work, and dog sitting, while maintaining a reclusive lifestyle of writing and painting. She has a degree in Fine Arts and abandoned a PhD in English Lit many years ago. Brenda has had solo art shows at York University (2000), Q Space (2013) and currently at Urban Gallery, and has been in a number of group art shows including 5 By 5 at The Gladstone Hotel in 2013. Her artwork has appeared in several books and as journal covers. Her poetry has been published in various books and in print and on-line journals over the years. LyricalMyrical published her chapbook, 'the luminist poems' in 2013. She has a poetry book, 'Tidal Fury,' forthcoming with Guernica Editions. She cites her early years spent barefoot, living in a compound of mud huts, with many wild animals and the wonderful Ndembu people, in the jungle of Kafue National Park in Zambia, for her deep resonance with the beauty, strangeness and brilliance of the tribal mind and the natural world.


'Winter Snow Ball' Poetry Salon @ Urban Gallery

Winter Snow Ball, Jan 2014. An evening of Queer poetry/Music/Performance hosted by Philip Cairns. A wonderful line-up of extremely talented folks. (Duncan Armstrong) has written an article - - describing the Poetry Salon at Urban Gallery. Do read it to get a sense of what the readers and performers that you see in these photos were sharing with the audience. Thank you to all the features, and to everyone who came out to the salon!

Please check out the Picasa Album (of all the photos for the duration of my show) for who is who.