“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
Visual art and poetry have a long history of contemplating the natural world and its ecology. When these two art forms come together, a conversation happens between what is painted, what is observed and the resulting ideas, images and emotions. Poetry is, as Rita Dove writes, “language at its most distilled and most powerful.” This distillation of language inspired by art is called ekphrastic poetry and allows the poet to inhabit, question, confront and speak to the art and its maker.
Ravine, Mouse, a Bird’s Beak is an exhibit in collaboration with Yvonne Blomer, Victoria’s poet laureate. Yvonne will respond to Robert Bateman’s paintings through a series of original poems. The Robert Bateman Centre has opened up our collection to Yvonne in order to fully immerse her into the art of Robert Bateman and his unique view on the natural world. Displayed in unique ways, including audio recording, Yvonne’s poetry will add new depth and meaning to Robert’s classic pieces.
Writer, critic, teacher and poet, Yvonne Blomer was born in Zimbabwe, and came to Canada when she was two years old. With her husband she has taught in Japan, cycled through Southeast Asia, and lived in the UK, where she completed a Masters in Creative Writing with Distinction at The University of East Anglia. Her recent memoir is Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur (Palimpsest Press, 2017) and poems As if a Raven (Palimpsest Press, 2014) Yvonne is proudly serving as the Poet Laureate for the City of Victoria, BC, and edited Refugium: Poems for the Pacific (Caitlin Press, 2017) as part of her legacy project. In 2017 Yvonne’s chap book Elegies for Earth won the Leaf Press Overleaf chap book contest.
New Workshops! ‘Writing the Ekphrastic Poem with Yvonne Blomer’ – Nov. 18th and Jan. 13th at the Robert Bateman Centre.
Join Victoria’s Poet Laureate Yvonne Blomer for an engaging workshop where you will read ekphrastic poems, explore visual art, and write your own poems in the ekphrastic tradition. Ekphrastic poems focus on works of art, but according to www.poets.org, “Modern ekphrastic poems have generally shrugged off antiquity’s obsession with elaborate description, and instead have tried to interpret, inhabit, confront and speak to their subjects.”
Spend a few hours with Yvonne at the Robert Bateman Centre overlooking the scenic Victoria Inner Harbour, where you will inhabit pieces of art and speak to or from them through poetry. Bring pen and paper and be ready to create several new drafts of poems.
Learn more at: https://bit.ly/2OkdmJq
Free guided gallery tours every Tuesday & Saturday at 2:00 pm with admission!
Brigitte and Henning Freybe