Natalie Pollard on Don Paterson and Light Writing

Natalie Pollard, Britrish Academy Research Fellow, is giving a paper at the Contemporary British and Irish Poetry Conference 2013 later this week (Saturday, 14th September, University of Manchester). The keynote poets at the event are: Paul Muldoon and Don Paterson.

Natalie Pollard

Abstract: Hiding in Full View: Don Paterson and Light Writing

This paper focuses on a rarely-analysed text of Paterson’s, in which photography’s ability to tease, conceal, and blur the viewer’s gaze – as well as to capture or expose a human subject –  is key. The artist’s book, Hiding in Full View, was produced in collaboration with the painter Alison Watt, following her joint exhibition with Paterson at the Ingleby Gallery in 2011-12. It is a tribute to the American photographer, Francesca Woodman, which explores the uses and abuses of self-representation in text and image, as well as the advantages of partial vision, shade and shadow, and disguise and concealment. Attending closely to Paterson’s poems and Woodman’s photographs, the paper analyses how, in setting up pages and persons as chameleon visual relations, the work of both forms a set of carefully constructed visual and spatial moves. It also offers an argument about the way we look at poetry’s printed pages, particularly in their relation to the visual arts.

About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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