It’s all a matter of perception… isn’t it? (Part 2)
If you read last week’s blog post, you’ll be expecting this… if you didn’t, ‘SURPRISE!’ Last week me and fellow tweep, Angie Shawcroft, painted a scene at Chatsworth, with surprisingly different results. This got me thinking about the whole idea of perception and style, and what leads us to interpret the same place or scene differently.
Last Friday, I coerced another fellow tweep, Dean Harkness, @Deanus, into taking this a step further with regard to writing. We met in Peterborough on a fantastically sunny day, most of which was spent chatting and lounging around getting take-outs! However, we did both do some wordy stuff. Our scene was outside the cathedral on an area of grass bordered by ancient houses in buff coloured stone.
I suggested to Dean that we both write
something – a poem or a piece of writing – about the setting – no other rules, just as it was, as we saw it. Dean had actually got wind of these blog posts and had anticipated me asking him to draw something, as he is, first and foremost an artist, illustrator, book cover designer and sculptor… (a very talented man, as you will gather), but, he does like to write and has written some amazing poems. Fortunately, he’d had the foresight to bring a pad and pen, as well as his drawing gear. The following is Dean’s piece of writing.
Peterborough Cathedral ~ Dean Harkness
We are lucky on days like these. Summer makes an early visit. Smiles go from budding to full bloom. We connect through the ether, travel, and connect again. Now here – we sit – no home to either of us but we are at home. Sharing this space – this sun-soaked patch of ground at the base of a tower of honey coloured stone to honour the busiest bee of all – with those whose home it is. A shoal of toddlers chitter and chatter while they form an un-orderly cue and depart. Friends so pleased to be here, sit on coats, giggle, gossip, and make arrangements to do less… soon!
And here’s my interpretation of the same scene:
Peterborough Cathedral ~ Abi Burlingham
Musing under honey coloured stone,
a buttermilk kiss,
a polka dot dress,
arch within an arch within an arch
opens on to a sun-drenched March
where shadows cast by buildings
older than time
slice up the green.
Hark, there is a Deanus
whose thoughts swim
beneath the European accent
of the polka dot dress.
They gather, chatter,
while pigeons peck and rock their heads
on silver-sheen necks
and a cocophany of school kids burst forth
from this once sacred space.
There is less of it now –
and Dickensian dramas fill the gaps,
the horse and cart,
the old man standing in the shadows.
they gather here
in this space
under the arches and spires that pierce the sky,
and soak up the afternoon sun.
These pieces are reproduced as they were written. I guess we spent about fifteen / twenty minutes on them – not long at all. We both found it really interesting that, although Dean chose to write in prose, and mine took the form of a poem, there were similarities in our peceptions of colour, of the gathering of other people, out for the sun, and of the gaggle of school children. We even both made reference to each other, which I thought was intriguing!