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Poetry and emotion, news and endnotes
I’m in Dublin now, visiting family and exploring making a body of work here. More on that in a bit. First I want to thank everyone who purchased a print of ‘Holding Hands by the Seine’ or expressed interest in my work.
Gertrude Stein said in her book Paris France, that “One of the pleasantest things those of us who write or paint do is to have the daily miracle. It does come.”
The same is true for photographers. But perhaps the biggest miracle of all is when someone appreciates how you see, your visual voice, so much that it inspires them to make a purchase. I am truly grateful and humbled.
Dublin. I’ve been many times but not really photographed there in earnest. My mum was from Dublin so it holds a special place in my heart. Most of my visits have been to see my relatives and I’m usually travelling with my own family so I don’t really map out time to explore and photograph. But now I feel ready to start. When I look back over some of the photographs I have made there I can see a thread, something to build upon and develop a cohesive body of work.
After our visit last summer, I wrote a bit about feeling between places, navigating a somewhat liminal space. I think, that with the benefit of a bit more time, I’ve developed a sense of being able to separate my familial relationship to Dublin and the one I have formed through reading, writing, film and photographs.
In advance of my trip, I’ve been dipping into my photobooks, novels and poetry; from Seamus Murphy1 to Seamus Heaney2. I’m looking forward to delving deeper into contemporary Irish writers and poets, like Sean Hewett and Doireann Ní Ghríofa, as well as photography, music and arts.
on the subject of poetry, I recently read a poem by W.B. Yeats that moved me to tears. It is called ‘Her Anxiety’. According to the footnote, ‘in a letter to his friend Olivia Shakespear, Yeats announced that he was “writing twelve Poems for Music – have done three of them and two other poems – not so much that they may be sung as that I may define their kind of emotion for myself. I want them to be all emotional and all impersonal.” Her Anxiety is one of them’. It is no wonder I felt that full force of emotion when you consider what he was trying to do.
One of the things I often find with my work is that I become analytical, exacting. When that happens, I tend to leave the emotional out or let it play second fiddle. This was a timely reminder, before my trip, to let it in and tap into it.
Update on my Hampton Hops exhibition at Farnham Maltings
When not travelling or working, I’ve been in the darkroom at Kiln Photo printing for this exhibition. There’s not long to go now. I’ll be installing the photographs on the morning of Friday 18th August.
I’m also delighted to let you know that there will be a Private View on Wednesday, 23 August from 6-8pm.
I have set up an Eventbrite ticket/registration. It’s free to come. You don’t have to register but doing so helps me keep track of numbers. Having said that though, Eventbrite limits free accounts to 25 tickets, so please do come even if are unable register.
I’m still hopeful of arranging more events connected to this so make sure you are following me on social media to be made aware: @edbrydon on Instagram and most other platforms.
I also only live a short walk from Farnham Maltings, so if you are in the area and want to stop by let me know and we’ll see if we can arrange lunch of coffee there.
Photographer Seamus Murphy is a finalist in this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award and has a long-standing collaborative relationship with the musician and poet PJ Harvey. You can hear him talk about making the ‘The Republic’, and the fascinating way in which he decided to publish the book, as well as the rest of his career, on the podcast A Small Voice.
Seamus Heaney spoke one at one of my graduations. He made a giant impression, though I had little sense then of how much he was to become woven into the fabric of my life. In 2013, my parents came over to New York on a surprise visit. One warm November evening, in the last flush of Fall, my wife and I went to a poetry reading held by the Irish Arts Centre. Nick Laird read Sonnet III from ‘Clearances’, by Heaney and moved me greatly. When we had left the apartment for the evening my in-laws were there, when we returned, my parents had replaced them. When I saw my mother, the full emotional force of the poem hit me. I was speechless and in tears. Five years later, at her funeral, I read my own composition based on Heaney’s.
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