So pleased to announce that the La Scapigliata : the Woman with the Dishevelled Hair has won the first Frame to Frames : Your Eyes Follow ekphrastic poetry film prize at LYRA poetry festival, Bristol. It was based on the painting La Scapigiliata by Leonardo da Vinci (1506–1508) with poem by LA poet Lois P. Jones, film by Australian Jutta Pryor, soundscape by Belgian sound artist Peter Verwimp, performance by Rebecca Page and including a voiceover by Katia Viscogliosi. The film was originally produced by the New York-based Visible Poetry Project.
There was a great turnout for the screening, which was very gratifying since I have spent two years curating via Zoom. Firstly, we watched Helen Dewbery’s incisive and relevant curation on the festival theme of Breaking Boundaries : New Worlds, including As Cherries a motion graphic film by Ukrainian artist Dariia Kuzmych based on a poem by Olena Huseynova (translated by Sasha Andrusyk). Then we watched the finalists for the prize.
As Cherries, Dariia Kuzmych & Olena Huseynova.
I would like to thank Lucy English and Danny Pandolfi for their very well produced festival. Each film had signing and subtitles and the event was wholly inclusive. Bravo to you for that.
I was also really pleased to meet Margaret Creedon who came from Cork especially for the event. These kind of connections make the poetry film world so rich and exciting, far beyond the films themselves. Her artistic reconstruction of Klimt’s The Kiss is fascinating in itself. Finding the actors to play the famous parts, drawing the images, composing and writing the poem in a beautiful script, and the music, too! All these adding their textures to the whole, and filmed by fellow Irish filmmaker and poet Colm Scully. It also included a really personal background story, opening up more areas for discussion in this particular genre.
The judges – poet and Cheltenham Festival director Anna Saunders, Mary McDonald poetry filmmaker, and Charles Olsen, poet, poetry filmmaker and curator had a difficult time making the decision, In fact, actually asked for more time to really consider the ins and outs of an ekphrastic poetry film. They commented generally:
‘These are five extraordinary films. all are testimony to the power and magic of poetry cinema. Every film is a unique and imaginative response to the fine poems that have inspired them. There were times that I was as thrilled and gripped as when watching a good thriller, as awestruck as I feel when standing in front of a piece of art. And the poems were very strong, each one used a rich and inventive vocabulary and each had something important to say.’
‘With an audiovisual medium I think the ‘vivid description of a work of art’ can be opened up to a more explorative experience. Whereas a poem or writing can conjure a visual experience, a poetry film has the potential to go beyond both the words and the visual representation of the painting to bring it alive in new ways. I hope the competition inspires more creative explorations of paintings through film.’
The winning film was thought to have a poem with a ‘candid, clear, and pure voice beautifully echoed by the film and its use of dance, monochromatic images, the repetition of a single note and the haunting, choral voice. “this face, a house of stars before the fall” is a breathtaking start to a transcendent poem and the iridescent, and airborne nature of the film gels with it beautifully. This is a work of the soul, profound and out of time… The layers of sound blend and meld and slide together, creating a voluptuous sensation of being suspended in sound. The layers of visuals blend and meld together and apart so that we seem to be held and we sway within the light and images.’ They felt it was: “It was the strongest poetry film due to the way the verse and the cinematography mirror each other and fuse yet, each bring something new to the cinema. This film really emphasized the haunting beauty of the work that inspired it.”
‘In the genre of film poetry, it is certainly true that the whole is greater than its parts. I believe the strong thread which wove these parts together relied on our individual sense of the spirit world. There is a mastery in filmmaker Jutta Pryor’s ability to push the boundaries of liminal space and make them visible. Sound designer Peter Verwimp’s deep shamanistic perspective allowed him to channel the necessary soundscape for each segment of the film. For me, the film represents a sense of our innate elan. I believe if everyone knew, with certainty, that life did not end at physical death, the world would be a different place. So thank you with all my heart to the judges and festival curators who valued this film. Thank you to Jutta Pryor for her profound vision and to Peter Verwimp for his infusion of spirit, mystery and grace. My thanks also to model and dancer Rebecca Page and to Katia Viscogliosi for her added vocal contributions in this film. Thank you.’ LOIS P. JONES
‘Greetings, I am delighted that La Scapigliata – the woman with the dishevelled hair after the painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been recognized at the inaugural Frame to Frames: Your Eyes Follow award at the LYRA Bristol poetry festival, 2002. I send my greatest thanks to Sarah Tremlett for including and sharing our international online collaboration amongst the works of the other contributors all of whom I hold in the highest regard. The Visible Poetry Project connected myself as a filmmaker with poet Lois P. Jones and knowing that it would be a challenging work on many levels La Scapigliata was the poem of my choice.
The closer I connected with la Scapigliata the more complex the vision. I invited Peter Verwimp, a sound designer musician in Brussels for his creative contribution as this work in four stages required sound specific to the narrative. Rebecca Page contributed her graceful movements, and Katia Viscogliosi her sultry spoken word. My heartfelt thank you to all who continue to develop and support poetry, film and sound arts. Good Morning from Melbourne, Australia, I wish I could enjoy the evening with you. JUTTA PRYOR also available at https://soundcloud.com/or-dio/jutta-pryor-acceptance-speech-frame-to-frames-your-eyes-follow-ekphrastic-poetry-film-prize?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing