Writers, photographers and audio producers have been working on an inter-continental collaboration that is set to be exhibited at the Narrandera Arts and Community Centre this October.
As part of the Western Riverina Arts initiative Activating Narrandera Arts – a 2 year program funded by Regional Arts NSW via the Regional Arts Fund, Narrandera Artist Jason Richardson has been working on the development of Crossing Streams. The process involved a workshop where local people created Haikus – a traditional Japanese style of poetry consisting of 3 lines. These Haikus were then distributed to Naviar Records (London) and Disquiet Junto (San Francisco) to interpret the poems as music. Haikus were submitted from people aged 8 and 96, and have since been interpreted into over 60 compositions from the UK, Canada, France, Czech Republic and Australia.
Crossing Streams exhibition curator, Jason Richardson, says that the project has allowed creatives to respond to the unique challenges of the haiku structure, creating diverse interdisciplinary dialogues. “I think too many people are frustrated with their creative abilities for the wrong reason. Duke Ellington is famously attributed with the line ‘I don’t need time, I need a deadline’ and it’s true for talents,” Jason says. “Everyone benefits from having a prompt to try an idea and I want to encourage everyone to challenge themselves.”
For participating Narrandera composer Fiona Caldarevic, working as a part of the exhibition has opened up new ways of working. “This exercise has been incredible in getting me to write music quickly; I used to take so long at it. The key is having that weekly deadline.” Fiona also says that composing poems generated by the public provided ample inspiration. “Having a poem as inspiration really helps, because it gives you a starting point, rather than just writing something from nothing. So there’s structure in terms of a vision and in terms of time.”
The exhibition will include photography with the poems, plus the audio recordings, and will be complemented by Slow Book Haiku, a collaboration between Kelly Leonard Weaving and Dr Greg Pritchard, shown as a part of the Bring To Light Project in Dubbo. Crossing Streams will run from 15th – 29th October at the Narrandera Arts and Community Centre.