ART & WRITING – EKPHRASIS IN ACTION

Ekphrasis in Action masterclass: challenging metaphors of 21st Century Visual Culture

What is Ekphrasis?
It is a classical poetic device to describe one piece of artwork through poetry. That’s it simply put. However, ekphrasis can serve as a useful device to unpack visual culture and the issues that are burning in societal discourse today. Contemporary ekphrasis asks the observer to write about the experience with a piece of art not to just describe it.

Engaging with art should be sensory experience, especially when an image is politically loaded. When we see politically charged images we often get lost in abstract ideas of justice, inequality or discrimination. To be able to transfer a visual image loaded with cultural specificity, to the page in a written form that reflects the image, takes a visceral experience. We must be able to have a moment with a painting, photo where the gut overrides our intellectual processes and poetry enables the viewer to see beyond the abstract.

imageI consider the poet at essence a social commentator who reframes and re-imagines the
world. So, writing in response to controversial contemporary images, artworks and photo-journalism, participants will explore metaphor and codification in visual culture, interrogating mainstream media’s use of image and its role in narrative and culture creation as a consequence.

Ekphrasis in Action aims:

– to encourage participants to explore and examine how they observe, critic and put their ‘artist’s eye’ to work
– to ‘re-see’ and stimulate poetic flow that inspire new ways of re-imagining the world
– to enhance – subvert, reframe – the original art/image and so take on another life through brilliant description
– to generate creative writing that is reflective of the poets voice as a social commentator and writer of the century.

The session is for those with some writing experience and a keen interest in social justice and equality in media representation in all its forms. Participants can expect a writing work-out while engaging in lively discussion about the world we live in today.

Participants are to bring a 1-2 images from mainstream media, and/or politically charged artwork (including graff art) and/or from photographic journalism.

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