Site-Writing

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Solar Trajectories
Pin-hole images by Maryjane Orley & Martin Purvis.

A series of pin-hole photographs created over 6 and 12 month periods (solstice to solstice) in 2017 and 2018.  Made in empty beer cans placed around the site of old Northbrook Nursery in the north of Guernsey, the images trace the movement of the sun across the skyline.

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Maryjane Orley is an interdisciplinary artist whose work involves drawing, print-making, conceptual sculpture, and installation. Over the last eight years, she has been exploring ways of defining and realising notions of emptiness and erosion and their potential for regeneration.

Reading Writing Quarterly celebrates reading and writing as situated practices, releasing a special pair of seasonal reviews four times a year.

Each solstice and equinox I invite writers to swap recently completed written works and to provide a situated ‘review’ of each other’s work. This involves raising a shared issue/concern, connecting out to another work/text/set of ideas, and/or producing a creative response to an aspect of the writing which might be fictional, prose, visual, sonic, filmic … These acts of exchange open up ways of ‘reading writing’ differently, generating multiple modes of engagement with words, and exploring the practice of ‘reviewing’ from a situated perspective, one that critiques and experiments with the genre of the ‘critical review essay’, creating something far more entangled.

For this December 2020 solstice issue I have invited geographer and poet, Tim Cresswell, and architect and artist-poet duo, Kreider and O’Leary, to respond to each other’s books. Maxwell Street is Cresswell’s historical and poetic investigation of a specific location in Chicago, while Kreider and O’Leary’s, Field Poetics, explores how text and place intertwine through five of their site-related projects.

2020 has been a year defined by the COVID19 pandemic. Many have survived so far, but others have not. Lives have been lost. It has been a time of sadness and grief. But we have also shared many moments of kindness, laughter and joy. (perhaps more than usual?) The digital screen has brought people together, not only those who are usually physically close, but communities have been able to extend across the globe. As well as framing working life, we have eaten, cried and laughed together in the time and space of the digital screen. Many talk of being exhausted by this ‘screen time’. For that reason, it is perhaps no surprise that Tim, and Kristen and James, decided independently to read each other’s books by making images. The visual work they have produced demands no lengthy task of intense reading, line by line. Instead they have put together parallel series of intriguing combinations of letters and textures. Their compositions allow our eyes to wander around, to explore a bit, creating readings that unwind …

If you have a written work that you’ve recently completed, and someone you’d like to read it, please get in touch – j.rendell@ucl.ac.uk


Issues

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