To make up for my prolonged absence (I’ve been relocating to the UK for the winter), here’s a whole triptych of filmpoems from Filmpoem itself: the crack team of filmmaker Alastair Cook and composer Luca Nasciuti, working in commission for a fascinating project from Northumberland-based poet Stevie Ronnie.
In July 2013 writer and multidisciplinary artist Stevie Ronnie visited the High Arctic as part of the Arctic Circle international residency programme. Arctica is a year-long series of interlinked artworks on the subject of climate change that Stevie has made in response to that experience.
These works are interdisciplinary in nature encompassing literature, performance, photography, artist’s books, film and a public art installation.
[…] The films also feature Arctic footage shot by US-based artist Michael Eckblad alongside found footage from Alastair’s collection.
‘What I Should Have Said’ is the first Filmpoem of the Arctica triptych. It takes us into the air as we settle in to listen – then brings us back to ground in the Arctic. This is a love poem to the family that Stevie left behind, originally composed shortly before he set off on his Arctic journey. ‘What I Should Have Said’ appears in Stevie’s collection of poetry ‘Manifestations’ (Red Squirrel Press).
‘Time and the Two Year Old’s Hands’ is the is the second Filmpoem of the Arctica triptych. It reaches the midway point of the triptych and turns back on itself, the hourglass turning over, injecting an urgency into this plaintive call for the survival of our children. The poem ‘Time and the Two Year Old’s Hands’ was composed as a creative response to the IPCC report on Climate Change that was commissioned by Tipping Point, the Free Word Centre and Spread the Word for the publication ‘Weatherfronts: Climate Change and the Stories We Tell’.
‘From Arctica’ is the is the third Filmpoem of the Arctica triptych. It brings us back from the Arctic to Northumberland and was originally composed in response to the tragic and unexpected death of a child in Stevie’s local community. This difficult and moving ending to the tryptich is about the about the acceptance of the unspeakable, the unthinkable and those things that are around us that we choose not to see. ‘From Arctica’ is an extract from a yet to be published poetic narrative that explores climate change, light, dark and our relationship with death against the backdrop of the Arctic landscape.
Watching them back to back, there’s a definite gestalt effect for me. Also, these filmpoems certainly put my own difficulties adjusting to a more northern latitude (London! Yowza) in perspective.