Uncertain Territories and The Emporer of Ice-Cream


Uncertain Territories
Mary Modeen, Kathryn Gray
Pharos Editions
Scotland/United Kingdom, 2010

Mary M 2 Mary M 2b

Uncertain Territories began within a large research project in the UK entitled Poetry Beyond Text, research funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK). I worked with six colleagues from Literature and Psychology in Dundee, Scotland, where I work, and Canterbury, England. The vast project used psychological, critical and creative methods to study how readers respond to visual aspects of poetry. Built in to the project was the commissioning of new work: I approached Kathryn, whose poetry I have much admired, beginning our collaboration with the notion that the ground we stand upon is not always as certain as we assume it to be. The aesthetics of multiple possibilities began this work. Her five poems and my images found their way woven together, printed both sides in concertina format, in a form which is permeated with backward glances, doubt and second thoughts, ways of questioning our sense of place.


Mary M 1

The Emporer of Ice-Cream
Mary Modeen
Scotland, 2012

For most of my life I have known and loved the poems of Wallace Stevens, for their prowess with language, for their questioning of knowing what we know, and mostly, for their power to wed emotion with wit, moving me as a reader to laughter or tears so deftly. This is homage replete with ‘Emporer’ cigars.

Digital archival print, wood


About sense of place in artist books

I am an artist. I find the ephemeral place in my art conjured up through practice. I sift through raw materials with my hopes and dreams, and ideas take form as if intended.
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