Paula Green has reviewed Bordering on Miraculous on NZ Poetry Shelf.
‘Great title, inviting cover! Bordering on Miraculous is the fourth contribution to Lloyd Jones’ Kōrero series. He invites “two different kinds of artistic intelligence to work away at a shared topic”. In each previous collaboration I have admired the individual contributions separately, and then pondered the hinges that connect them. Each volume has been lovingly produced by Massey University Press, and designed by Gary Stewart.
Lynley Edmeades has published two poetry collections, has a PhD in English from the University of Otago and is the current editor of Landfall. Saskia Leek has an MFA from Auckland’s Elam School of Fine Arts, was nominated for the Walter’s Prize in 2010 for Yellow is the Putty of the World, and is the subject of Desk Collection, a touring exhibition that features two decades of her work.
Lynley’s poems sit alongside Saskia’s monoprints. I was curious to see the latter named as illustrations, and got musing on what an “illustration” is. So often, the illustration is the support act, an enhancement, sometimes representing additional and even sidetracking visual points of view and narratives. I finally left my ‘illustration’ maze, and thought of both poem and image as illumination, the one illuminating the other, each an individual luminosity. Particularly apt with the miracle theme.
The first words that come to mind when I meditate upon Saskia’s images: texture, palette ranging from muted to bolder, gesture, restraint, focal point. Without the presence of the poem — both its physicality and its mystery — I am embedded in body-tingling warmth. Saturated in delectable colour that triggers feeling, ideas, memory, pocket-sized narratives. It is the transcendental uplift of the abstract, the satisfying texture of the physical. I might be traversing backdrop or foreground: curtain, field, tabletop, wall, sky. I am drawn to the alluring focal point: a cup, fruit, an outline, a fried egg, a clock face. Yet nothing is certain, sun might become flower, mandarin might become sun. Printer’s ink becomes gesture, gesture becomes pattern, pattern becomes internal echo. And the process of looking becomes deep satisfying contemplation. Illumination.’
Read the full review with poem and art extracts here.