Thursday, 19 May 2022

Picked up new lot of paramontages

A friend asked me to go to see the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prize finalists so I jumped on the bus at around midday yesterday to go into town. I traded the bus for a train at Green Square and met this person at Museum Station. The day was exceptionally fine for a change (we’d had a string of sunny days) so it was a good opportunity to drop by Pixel Perfect in Chippendale on the way home to pick up more prints. While in the area I collected mail at my PO box but what was there had been misaddressed so I just left it with a staffer at the post office.

I found upon reaching home that two of the prints were the wrong size and I called the shop to find out why. It turns out my instructions had been incorrect, so wasted money was my fault. I put the too-big prints downstairs in the storeroom and upstairs in the studio assessed the viability of what had survived the blades of close scrutiny.

Overall I was happy with the results. Some of the text is a bit wonky because GIMP, the graphics manipulation software package I use, isn’t very good with text. Because it’s for photographs the tools they provide to manipulate text are not very sophisticated and you can’t change fonts within a text box. Instead, you have to alternate separate text boxes for italics and normal versions of the same font, which is what I do in some of my sonnets. 

The variety of fonts in the sonnets is needed to enable the use of different voices. So you might have the main narrative voice using Times New Roman and the voice of another speaker in the same poem will be in italics. I alternate between voices in several poems in order to generate dramatic effects.

Here is the video I made on the morning this post went up. It was very early and dark outside but I get up at the crack of dawn so when I was writing this post at 4am I’d already prepared photos for five more paramontages since rising from my slumbers. 

I had some small amount of feedback from the first video I put up (on the 18th of May), the comments being not about the poem itself or about the photographs accompanying it. The comments were about the quality of the video production, so it seems that in addition to being a photographer and a poet I have also to be a good cineaste. So be it!

I am unwisely considering the ways that I can improve my production skills. One thing would be to print out the poem and hold it in my other hand (the hand not holding the phone) so that I can read it when holding the sheet of paper closer to my face than the phone wants in order to show the sheet of photographic paper to best effect. One thing I found difficult when making that video about the paramontage ‘Precious’ is it was difficult to take a video and read the poem at the same time. Having the poem handy and printed out on a sheet of white paper would, I guess, alleviate that problem.

When you see these things in the flesh (so to speak) you get a sense of scale and poise that a digital file seen on the screen, most often with the poem only legible by zooming in on part of the object, cannot offer. These prints form part of a portfolio that I feel compelled to create, combining with serendipity written texts and visual, sensual renditions of the real world in ways that generate meaning beyond the individual component parts. At least, that’s what I think. Perhaps if you drop by you can spend time with them yourself.


Anonymous said...

They look amazing

Anonymous said...

Good commentary too