One of the many pleasures at StAnza are the art exhibitions inspired by poetry. This year the one that entranced me was that of Brigid Collins. I knew her work already as a few years ago I bought the wee black pamphlet illustrated with gold ink, 'A Place Where Thought Happens', by the poet Larry Butler with Brigid's art work, on show at the One Eye gallery, Edinburgh in 2006, along with other work by Brigid in collaboration with jewellery designer, Teena Ramsay.
The StAnza exhibition included some of those art works and many others also inspired by various poets including Kathleen Jamie, John Burnside, Kirsty Gunn, Raymond Carver, Billy Collins, Gerald Manley Hopkins, John Donne and Seamus Heaney amongst many others.
As Heaney was appearing at the festival this year he was able to visit the exhibition which was a nice bit of serendipity - no doubt planned. Collins has collaborated with Heaney previously and a lovely book of her art work illustrating his poems was on show 'Room to Rhymne' published by Dundee University Press, 2004.
I love the intricacy and delicacy of the work, incorporating wire, gauze, goldleaf, fine threads and metal embossed with fragments of poems, a 3 D response to a poem which she calls 'a poem house.' A 'stanza' is a room, of course and a poem has many rooms or spaces. Perhaps I shall think about inhabiting spaces when I next write.