Monday, May 13, 2013

The poem is mightier than the chainsaw

Saturday saw yet another event of celebration resulting from the Han Shan Poetry Project, the brainchild of poet Susan McCaslin. Only Saturday's event was more than poems.

Langley artist Susan J. Falk was inspired by the poems in the trees and created a series of paintings for a show she’s calling “Written in the Forest”. The paintings incorporate words into their design – just a key phrase from each poem – enough to firmly link the idea of visual image and poetic line.  

It isn’t very often that poets get the privilege of seeing their words incorporated into another form of art. This time, the privilege was doubled by being able to read our poems while standing in the midst of the paintings. In the photo above, Susan McCaslin (right) reads her poem while Susan Falk, almost a part of her glorious painting, looks on.

The works are currently on display at The Fort Gallery in Fort Langley. For the duration of the show, there’s an ongoing silent auction. Falk intends to donate proceeds of the auction to WOLF, the organization that first brought McLellan Forest to the attention of the public.

But the best part of all? Publicity garnered by the Han Shan Project has resulted in at least 60% of the endangered forestland now being protected as parkland. That’s good news for the future and a testament to the power of art. 

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