Art Inspires Art

Helen McDonald reflects on how art forms enhance each other:

“I’ve always been interested in the way that one creative process influences another. When I was writing my poem ‘Stark against the sky’ the third stanza wasn’t working for me – the words on the page didn’t capture what I was trying to say. I struggled, then left it alone for a while.  Sometime after I went to a musical concert and was mesmerized by a beautiful new composition by composer Alice Humphries – Salt. Her work is inspired by her personal connection to and love of the sea. And as I listened my third stanza wrote itself.

‘I want to float on waves
of roiling love and not
be pebble-sucked
and churned beneath the watery depths’

Months later I walked into an art gallery, and there, right in front of me, was the exact twisted tree I had imagined in the first stanza of ‘Stark against the sky’ – a perfect miniature lithograph by artist Robyn Leeder. I bought it on the spot and it hangs in my study above my poem – a visual impression of my written words. Music, poetry and art melded into one.

Give thanks for the artists – without them we would all be soul-starved.”

You can read Helen’s ‘Stark against the sky’ and other works by Elwood Writers in our new anthology Every Second Tuesday, available now in paperback from Readings online bookshop (in Australia), or from Book Depository (for overseas buyers). The ebook is available from all the main ebook platforms, including Kindle.