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Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Menna Series

I printed this series on a deep-sea scallop shell that began life somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean between The Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Canada--where I found it--and West Wales, where my friend, the Welsh poet Menna Elfyn, lives and writes. I took the photo of Menna on a hike we made together in 2005, up to the summit of Carningli--the Hill of Angels--in the Preseli Hills of Northern Pembrokeshire. It was a grey day of wind and rain, and clouds sweeping in off the sea.
 The installation--in a sunny inlet swamped by sea grass fronds--which I created in Massachusetts in summer, 2010, brings the pan-Atlantic process full circle. Like Menna's poetry, which is often fueled by her perpetual travels across the ocean, these images of her harvest the depths and reveal them on the incoming tide. Here is a bit from her poem "Rhyddfraint Pentywyn," or in English, "Pendine Sands"

Here you can learn
that we don't so much learn how to live
as not to give
one inch to death
lest the high tide overtake us.