Sunday, 9 June 2013

Multiply and conquer

On the 7th, there was a notable buzz in the air at the Christina Parker Gallery as novelist Lisa Moore and (this time) poet Michael Crummey teamed up for a double launch of their latest titles.  Both uber-talented and celebrated and both delightfully humble, they were generous in acknowledging each other's accomplishments.  Lisa said she had approached Michael as she did not like "launching alone" and Michael differed saying he was "riding on her coat tails".  Either way, combining a launch of a novel with a collection of poetry by two of our best made good business sense, doubling their audience and avoiding cannabilizing each other's parties in a city where the choice of cultural things to do outweighs the city's audience size.

Our problem in St. John's is that we suffer from an embarrassment of cultural riches.  For example this afternoon, there is a great strings concert on the go with top caliber talent with the proceeds going to benefit Oxfam.  And this evening there is a fundraiser for Shakespeare By the Sea with traditional Newfoundland set dancing at The Rocket Room.  On the same evening of the double-book launch the Anna Templeton Centre was hosting a major event in the same time slot.  A few days prior Mary Dalton was launching her collection of poems Hooking at the LSPU Hall.  How many days a week do you want to go out?

Pairing up seems to be the best strategic bet in winning the war against limited resources of time and money.  It worked for our latest dynamite duo in the visual arts Peter Wilkins and Will Gill.  They were both there at the Friday launch still dizzy from their fresh success at the Venice Biennale.  Christina Parker was still glowing and shared that the elite corps (my words) of mainland curators all made it to Will and Peter's two man show and were suitably impressed for all the right reasons.  Rather like poetry and prose, this visual arts pair have styles and approaches that are completely different –complementary rather than competing.

Again similar but different, I noticed that when Kelly shifted her Britainnia Teas from a physical storefront to an on-line business she was next seen as a pop-up store feature at potter Alexis Templeton Studio Craft Day May event. 

In closing, I'll point out that Marlene Creates in her visual arts practice has evolved a very intriguing version of multidisciplinary pairings.  I am thinking of her Boreal Forest with its experiential focus on a complete sensory experience.  This July and August Marlene has invited a series of three different musicians to respond to the stimulus of natural environment.  At it's best, this kind of inspired pairing reminds of accounts I've read about when Picasso, Stein or Diaghliev would work together on projects.

Musicians in Concert with The Boreal Poetry Garden
3 walking and listening events in 2013

Join Marlene Creates as she leads a walk with readings of site-specific poems in The Boreal Poetry Garden — six acres of boreal forest where she lives in Portugal Cove — with musical responses to the site provided by 3 acoustic musicians. After the walk, we will gather around a bonfire with some refreshments.

The events this summer will focus on the audible. We will experience the boreal forest by listening to its soundscape –– and its silences. Come hear the resonance of words and wind, of wind instruments and woods, of percussion and ancient volcanic rock, of river rhythms and phrases, of vibrating strings and stars, of sparks from the bonfire and toasted marshmallows.

Wednesday July 17 at 7:30 pm
poetry by Marlene Creates with Rob Power, percussion 

Tuesday July 23 at 7:30 pm
poetry by Marlene Creates with Rozalind MacPhail, flute 

Sunday August 4 at 2:00 pm
poetry by Marlene Creates with Ilia Nicoll, violin and viola

Limited to 25 people. Advance registration required.
For directions and to register:
or phone 709.895.1020
$25 | $20 students & seniors

If you are determined to succeed, it seems your best bet is to find a kindred soul who can bring resources and goals to align with yours.  You've heard of divide and conquer?  Well, this seems a trend of multiply and conquer.

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