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POOL and Poetry Film in Australia

POOL originated in Australia and has developed into an international creative media group offering a stimulating environment to visual artists, sound artists, poets, writers, filmmakers, photographers and performers.

Australia’s multicultural background and relative geographic isolation have contributed to the popularity of communication and collaboration via the internet, enabling Australian artists the freedom to engage and explore universal concepts on a worldwide platform, at the same time sharing their unique Australian perspectives. Although Australia has produced some excellent exponents of poetry film, this genre has not been propelled to centre stage as has been the case in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Dedicated poetry film festivals such as ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival and VISIBLE VERSE would help to raise the profile of the poetry film in Australia by showcasing the amazing developments in this genre and extolling the positive nature of generating work via new media and reaching new audiences. The following Australian poetry film artists all share wonderful, unique and personal perspectives:

Marie Craven is a media maker based on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Her formative creative years were in Melbourne, where she started out as an actor in theatre in her teens. She became involved in super 8 and experimental film-making in the 1980s. Her short narrative films during the 1990s were screened at over 100 international film festivals and gathered many awards. Since 2007 she has been engaged in online collaboration in digital media, contributing to works both as a video remixer and as a vocalist for electronic music. Her approach to video poetry is international, stylistically eclectic and includes elements from both experimental and narrative cinema, as well as music video.

James W. Barnes is a poet from Central Queensland. Discovering the enhancing qualities of sound effects and vocal recordings in the early 2000’s and progressing on to utilising animation, photography and video in his works, James enjoys the emotional content exposed by his observations. Collaborations with poets, film makers and soundscape artists in the POOL are the latest aspect of his journey.

Brendan Bonsack is a poet and songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. A regular spoken-word performer, Brendan is known for his unique brand of intimate and ›softly-spoken‹ poetic narrative. His spare, monochrome films feel like the sharing of a secret. Brendan’s written work appears in print and online, and has been featured in Australian and European festivals. His original songs have been released over ten solo albums and may be heard in the many cafes and bars dotted around his home city.

Ian Gibbins began making videos to accompany his poetry in 2009. Since then, his video-poems have featured in his live performances, collaborative stage shows and art installations, while several have been published in online literary magazines. Constructed from his own original poetry, audio and source images, Ian’s style varies widely, ranging from simple sequences of stills and diagrams, through to machine generated text, audio and visual effects. The aim of this work is not to simply illustrate the poems but to expand and complement interpretations of the words.

Jutta Pryor creates original visuals, encompassing a wide spectrum of interests and media, including the fine arts, photography, printmaking, projection, poetry film and sound. In her collaborative work she strives to highlight the intrinsic essence of each artist’s genre within the context of the collaboration. Shared experience or emotive triggers are important starting points. She has enjoyed acting as a Community Editor at ABC POOL, and has continued to support and inspire a growing international creative community via Facebook POOL.

Although the medium of poetry film seems somewhat under-explored by Australian poets, the POOL group is well placed to expose the medium to both online and real world possibilities. POOL is a meeting place across diverse creative media groups and a great vehicle for sharing information and keeping up with current trends. Members and administrators of other groups are welcome to post projects, advertise call-outs and exhibitions, showcase creative outcomes, discuss work and post things of interest. Collaboration, skill sharing, idea development and networking are encouraged and continue to make POOL a vibrant, creative community.

I would like to acknowledge MASONIK: Baziz Psanoudakis, Paul Pax Andrews and Wheldon Thornley who have contributed soundscapes to many of the poetry films created within POOL.

About the Author

Jutta-PryorJutta Pryor is an exhibiting multimedia artist with work experience in commercial and fine art sectors. In 2010, she accepted an invitation by ABC POOL to act as a Community Editor, whose task was to foster online collaboration across diverse subject matter and types of media in order to explore the development of User Generated Content. She gained experience in online collaboration with writers, sound artists and image makers and has been inspired by the possibilities and outcomes of collaboration. Her own creative interest has evolved from printmaking and photography to moving image and projection work. She responds spontaneously to emotive nuance in her visual surroundings and tries to capture that essence.

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