"Amy Needs to Unclench," an oil on panel by Sara Pedigo, based on the poem "Poem with Corset Allusion" by Liz Robbins.
Oct. 4, 2012
The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum presents an exhibition entitled “Transliteration,” a collaborative project between painter, Sara Pedigo, and poet, Liz Robbins. The exhibition will be on view from October 26 through November 21, 2012. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Friday, November 2 from 5 until 9 p.m.
This exhibition is a part of Flagler College’s program, “Ideas and Images: Scholars and Artists in Residence.”
Based on mutual interest and respect for each other’s work, a collaboration of creative forces naturally evolved between Flagler College colleagues Robbins and Pedigo. The impetus for this joint effort began when Pedigo created the cover painting for Robbins’ latest book of poems, Play Button. Upon reading the manuscript, Pedigo created several paintings for the prospective cover that attempted to capture the mood of Play Button while not directly quoting any one poem. After the publication of Play Button, Robbins and Pedigo were interested in seeing what would happen if they created work in response to specific pieces by the other artist. The outcome of this collaboration, on display in the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, takes the form of new paintings, drawings, and poems that each serve as a response to a particular work by the other artist. Through the continuously evolving creative process poems took new shapes as drawings, and paintings became new stories on a blank page. The artists have used each other’s respective work as a new found canvas, a creative springboard for new potential and artistic exploration.
As a visual artist, Pedigo is interested in the sensory power of Robbins’ poetry. Robbins’ masterful use of language creates perfect slices of experience that transport the reader mentally and physically to the world described on the page. Pedigo’s response to those slices of experience take the form of loosely painted portraits and drawings that don't always nod back to the specificity and particulars of the poems, but weave an atmospheric interpretation of the mood and lyricism that the poetry offers. The layered and sometimes dream-like quality of the paintings evokes substantial personal responses under which the paintings themselves seem almost to be tangible memories.
As a poet, Robbins is drawn to the potential narrative aspects, such as character, in Pedigo's work, as well as the music and mood she creates with color and texture. She is also moved by one of Pedigo’s artistic motivations: as a deeply creative way to reunite with loved family. To negotiate these aspects, Robbins moved beyond mere ekphrastic poems (poems about art) and tried to create differently complex, layered products, which included borrowing from other forms, genres, and devices, such as playwriting, aphorisms, songwriting, haibun (a Japanese poetic form), logic (if-then statements), personality typing, synesthesia, and biographical statements.
Sara Pedigo has exhibited throughout the United States and in 2007 she was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant. Most notably, she was included in the 2006 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and in exhibitions at the Cue Foundation, Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art and the Naples Art Museum. Pedigo received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Flagler College, her undergraduate alma mater.
Liz Robbins' second full collection, “Play Button,” won the 2010 Cider Press Review Book Award. Her chapbook, “Girls Turned Like Dials,” won the 2012 YellowJacket Press Prize and is out this month. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Greensboro Review, New Ohio Review, Poet Lore, Rattle, Verse Daily, and The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and are in recent or forthcoming issues of Cimarron Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Journal, New York Quarterly and Notre Dame Review. Her first book, “Hope, as the World is a Scorpion Fish” (Backwaters Press), was published in 2008. She is currently Associate Professor of English at Flagler College.
For more information, please contact the museum at (904) 826-8530 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on future exhibitions and events, please visit our website at www.flagler.edu/crispellert.
The “Ideas and Images: Scholars and Artists in Residence” series features an international composition of artists and authors, introducing a fresh and creative component to the greater St. Augustine community. Each event is free and open to the public. Call (904) 819-6282 or visit www.flagler.edu/our-community for more information.