I was delighted when Linda asked me to create this Editor's Choice portfolio. Immediately I decided to use it to explore text-image linking. I knew that Ray Rassmusen belonged to the Crossroads Camera Club in Edmonton, Alberta, so I asked him about obtaining permission to use some of the photographs displayed on the site. I chose the photos that gave me a sense of place and were evocative, knowing that each poet to whom I sent them would connect with different experiences and memories.
Knowing the poets and their work made it exciting for me. As I sent them photos, they linked personal poems to moments in time captured by the photographers. For the poet this was not about interpreting the image but rather being inspired by it and expressing the emotions it stirred. Imbued with the spirit of the poet, the photographer's “moment in time” is given depth and life beyond the lens. It becomes multi-layered, an emotional experience that lingers.
We all possess a unique creative energy. Consciously or not, we embed pieces of life's experiences in our art and poetry. It's who we are. I'm sure when Jim Gaa took the photo of the mirror he had no thought of "a face from Auschwitz". When I saw the photo I immediately thought of Anita Virgil's poem and sent it to her. She loved the photo...it was perfect. Kirsty Karkow shows her "can do" attitude in the charming bike photo also by Jim Gaa...it's so her, but it could have been about a retired bent tire if the poem were not in the hands of a gifted poet. Andrew Bogda's candles become emotionally charged as they are coupled with Aurora Antonovic's achingly poignant poem. I cannot imagine any other text-image linking that would capture this depth of beauty and sadness.
As you will see, each image is dressed with a fresh feeling and new meaning that would not be possible without text-image linking. For me, it was interesting to see how each photo and poem took on one essence when combined so that they play off each other. When text-image linking goes far beyond a superficial poetic interpretation, the image becomes a place filled with memories, experiences, adventures and life. It's what text-image linking brings to the creative arena. It speaks to the linking of place and spirit. There is a timeless quality to these new creations in which both text and image are inseparable.
My thanks to all of photographers and poets, and special thanks to Ray for all his help preparing this feature.