Big weekend with the elders. Shirley Bear’s 30-year retrospective opened at the Burnaby Art Gallery on Saturday, and she had launch for her poetry book, Virgin Bones, the next day. I went with Roy. We were especially astounded by the way ghosts seemed to emerge from a particular dry ink process she was using in 2003. When I asked her about it later, it was interesting to hear how she, at first, just let the dry ink fall where it wanted, but later, would loosely guide the process, while (necessarily) allowing for a great degree of randomness. From the randomness came white patches and swirls of colour that suggest other presences, or a kind of creativity that is not individual in the deliberate kind of way that her brush work is. Amazing show, nicely varied selection of work– opened me to thinking of the many different ways creativity can work. Cool being there with Roy, who always gets a person thinking. He’s pondering project in which he talks to artists and writers about their creative practices. Show’s only downer was the crappy poster. Her name wasn’t even on it, except for as a painting credit. What was the gallery thinking?!
Same day as Shirley’s book launch, Peter Quartermain did a talk at the Kootenay School of Writing about Zukofsky and the “poetic fact.” Very interesting discussion using examples from medieval herbals, inquiring into the nature of “fact” and its distance from experienced “reality.” Peter considers Pound’s forward slashes and Williams’s “space periods” as poetic facts, the referents of which are as open and particular as any reader’s experience of them.
Later, visit with my friend Trish Kelly, and her friend Kim Kinakin, who does graphic design and web work for Nettwerk records, and is moving to LA. I checked out his West End apartment with an eye to buying. Yikes!