Showcasing the Process: Evolution

Last month we pulled off an amazing event with The Creators Collective, and we wanted to give our readers some insight into what goes on behind the scenes. The concept for Evolution was this: Have a poet write a poem, give that poem to a visual artist to inspire their own work, and then have the poet revisit the artwork created and revise their poem based on it, on the spot.

We set up all the artwork and printed the poems on large sheets of paper, and then the artists arrived and began setting up their own workspaces. It was so cool to see the different materials each artist chose to work with, they all brought in their own unique approach in interpreting the written words. 

By the end of the half hour, we had three fresh pieces to accompany the photographs taken for each poem.

Then it was time to revise! The poets grabbed their gold sharpies and started crossing out, adding in, manipulating, and adjusting their poems to reflect the art their words created. Rarely do we ever get to see a work of art made in progress, or see the process of revision for a poet, and it was so cool to have that opportunity at the event. Some poets decided to completely rewrite a new draft, while others opted to make their revision directly on the page. Sarah Duncan, one of the poets, described her experience doing a live revision:

I found the photographs around my poem particularly inspiring and striking, and looked to them when writer’s block would hit. The event was visually stunning — the mix of the hanging poems, with the visual art, with the photographs — all of this was really a fascinating and gorgeous playground of art, and it was a delight to get crawl all over it. The hosts, artists, and participants were all completely lovely! It was a really unique experience that was invigorating in it’s newness and in what it invited all of us into — a shared moving and breathing arts experience.

By the end of evening, all the artists had collaborated to create completely unique pieces of work that subtly spoke to one another in a fascinating conversation. Another one of our poets, Brendan Gillett, described what he took away from the event:

The process of (re)creation became immediate, tangible, projected large into a space transformed from simple blackbox to bookbox, with words and images surrounding all who entered. It was the closest most of us will come to jumping into the pages of a book, a surreal experience that led to some very real results. As a poet, I was taken by the images created in response the word pictures I had painted. What was born of the exchange was a surprise to everyone, but a very welcome one. I left with two types of gratification: that which comes from knowing you have helped others create, and that which comes from having others help you down your path.

We felt so lucky to have had such amazing artists participate in bringing our vision of Evolution to a reality. In addition to our artists, we'd like to thank The Creators Collective for helping us to pull off such an ambitious event, as well as Standard Toykraft for providing us the space to showcase. We had a ton of fun, thank you for supporting Pelorus Press!