Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Some Shoalwater

In 2007 artist Dieter Irving produced fifty limited edition prints of five of his 1996 Shoalwater Bay residency paintings. Dieter developed this project as part of the 2007 Peace Convergence in Yeppoon. A local protest during the military exercises held every second year in the pristine Shoalwater area. During this period I purchased a set of Dieter's prints (all the original paintings were sold for hefty prices to local art collectors) - and I was lucky enough to get set 50/4 (with 50/1-50/3 being allocated to Dieter's and partner Penny's three children.)

I have known Dieter and Penny for as long as I have lived in this area, participating with them in many cultural events and sharing much in common with them in our varied areas of creative interest. In 2008 I received a small grant to develop poetry based on the Shoalwater area.

During the time I was writing about and visiting the area, a coal port was being suggested as a further burden to deplete the natural value of the area (this would be on top of the military presence and much more damaging) - and before I completed my series of poems, the coal port was vetoed by Peter Garrett, who is also a staunch supporter and campaigner for Shoalwater Bay's environmental significance. During the mid/late nineties he assisted in campaigning to stop sand mining in this same area.

I find it just as difficult to write overtly political poems as overtly nature poems , and the on again off again nature of the coal port proposal made it doubly hard to refine my own terms for creating work I would be happy with. I made many notes, visited the area and wrote many lines, some will not be published, but they did assist me to refine my own terms eventually.

I had, prior to starting my project, asked permission to base some of my poems on Dieter's paintings. The first of these poems to be published is in foam:e #6

A slide show of all of Dieter's Shoalwater residency paintings can be viewed here bottom right of the main page.


Anonymous Paul Squires said...

Superb. Amazingly detailed sense of place, all the senses conjured through sound and subtle shades of meaning and texture. And there is beauty in the tone, or the sensibility. I think you are a wonderful poet. And the prose with which you framed the poem is immaculate.

8/4/09 18:40  
Blogger Louise said...

hey, thanks paul, it is nice to have the work appreciated! great to be able to feature some of dieter's work also.

so i can count you as a fan (lol) one of my handful...

9/4/09 07:23  
Anonymous Nearly beer o'clock. said...

Absolutely. I am a fan. I have read a great deal of your work that appears on the internet. I read this one (or is it three) a while ago and enjoyed it a lot. What you say about not writing overtly political poetry is interesting. The sense of caring and compassion is clearly evident in these poems as well as the deep connection between the subject of the poems and his environment. Engendering compassion and empathy in others can be a political act, subversive rather than overt. I suspect poetry is at its most effective politically when it deals with the intersections between the intensely personal and the social.
And I think you are a fantabulous poet and hope you have a wonderful holidayayayay,

9/4/09 11:15  

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