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.
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