In the temple reviewed on New Zealand Arts Review


Poet Jane Sayle and artist Catherine Bagnall’s most recent collaboration, in the temple, has been reviewed by John Daly-Peoples on New Zealand Arts Review:

In The Temple is a new collaboration between artist Catherine Bagnell and poet L. Jane Sayle which follows on from their previous work On We Go published two years ago.

The small pocket-sized book of 26 poems and 21 watercolours is like a breviary or book of the hours, to be referred to for inspiration and reflection. Both the thoughtful  poems and the wistful illustrations have much to offer.

The Temple of the title is no man-made structure but is situated in the natural world, and where poet and artist find solace and tranquillity. It is a place which holds memories and ideas, both transient and enduring. Both the poems and the illustrations are a mix of the observed and the imagined, evoking both the physical and contemplative aspects of encountering the environment.

One of the poems, “The Singing Tree” is something of  an advisory to the reader about the accessibility and understanding of poetry.

Thank you for your poem

I think I understand it

Its just with the watermarks

The old buff paper

Your scrawl

This image of the handwritten poem is given form in “John Weeks” and “Englischer Garten” where watermarks or tears blot some of the words.

The poems range from the haiku-like “Scroll White”

And when I close my eyes

black shagreen

Through to the longer pieces such as  “GPS” describing  actual place and event.

Many of the poetic images Sayle creates have a slight surreal quality as with “In Camellia Time” with the image of “a puppy drowning” oddly matched with Bagnall’s watercolour of a mourning figure that has shed formal gloves while the tears or petals of a camellia float down.

The words and pictures touch each other lightly and there is a sense of the visual and poetic images being in parallel dream worlds where  images and ideas flicker and merge.’

Read the full review here.