A Greek word | Art Describing Other Art
Henri serves on the board of the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference. She worries endlessly, fruitlessly, and in between writes tragic poetry and comical short stories.
Each year, for the past three years, artists from the Artists Co-op of Mendocino exchange their work, anonymously packaged, with one page stories and poems from writers of the Mendocino Coast branch of the California Writers Club, also presented anonymously. This year, twenty pairs participated in the event. Artists, banging drums and tambourines, arrived at the August meeting of the writers club to perform what has become a ritual of Ekphrasis.
What is this ritual about? Let’s start with a definition from the writer’s friend, Wikipedia:
“Ekphrasis ... a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form, and in doing so, relate more directly to the audience, through its illuminative liveliness. A descriptive work of prose or poetry, a film, or
As one of the writers who has participated in all three shows, twice having poems interpreted by artists, and once interpreting a photograph, I look forward to the drama of the opening at the Artists Co-op gallery each October. Our various creative outputs have indeed taken on lives of their own. We writers enter to see our work, now duly identified by name, interpreted in paint, collage, or sculpture in ways we had never considered. The artists join us, excited to express and explain how they came to interpret our words in their unique ways. Then it’s their turn to consider how their work becomes a story or poem written by us.
A few days later, the artists join us at our meeting, where we read our works as the art is portrayed in a slideshow. Here are a few pictures from the party:
and Katherine Brown of the writers club.