Valeria Melchioretto, shares her view about why poetry and creativity are important in these unprecedented times.
At an early age even making mud pies was fair game in order to shape an understanding of ourselves and the world around us, but soon most of us were encouraged to ditch such pursuits for more rational approaches, as we were told that only geniuses or independently wealthy individuals could afford the luxury of being creative. However, countless philosophers, psychologists and artists have argued that creative expression is absolutely vital to our wellbeing. Joseph Beuys, for instance, stated that ‘thinking is form’. One reason we might find solace in poetry is because poetry presents us with a structured solution that allows for ambiguity and catharsis. Even complex ideas are laid out, broken up and placed in stanzas etc., so we might discover new ways of perceiving our chaotic world by exposing orderly patterns and possibilities. Collaborations between photographers and poets are rather rare because the processes are juxtaposed: Photography presents us with a finished image first and the underlining implications follow as we absorb and reflect. With poetry we have to follow the imaginative thread and only in the end can we behold the whole picture. However, both practices are solitary pursuits. But what if we could build a bridge between the image and the word? What if we can craft a dialogue that lifts us from our isolation and our ordeal? In the past, ekphrastic projects have included Mallarme and Matisse, Jasper Johns and Frank O’Hara and more recently Rebecca Campbell and Nicole Walker. We are looking forward to your contributions. Valeria Melchioretto