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Graphic Images and Poetry

Cold Eye by Dan Burt and Paul Hodgson (Carcanet Press Ltd) Cold Eye" is a collaboration between an artist and a poet to examine the creative process. The work yokes ten images with ten poems and in so doing one explores the other: text uses apposition to excavate image and its genesis, and image illuminates text and its content. Image and text share a sense of doubt which permeates the work and its subjects. The drive to present a clear, cold view of them is always paramount.

Dan Burt was born in South Philadelphia in 1942. He attended state schools and a local catholic college before reading English at Cambridge. He graduated from Yale Law School and practiced law in the United States, United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia until moving to London in 1994 and becoming a British citizen. He is an honorary Fellow of St. John's College Cambridge and lives and writes in London. This is his first collection of poems. Paul Hodgson was born in Shrewsbury in 1972. He graduated from the Department of Fine Art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1995, and the Royal College of Art in 2000. It was here, as a printmaking student, that he began to combine photography, print and digital media, in a manner that has shaped his work ever`since. In 2006, he produced a series of works for an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London, commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Hodgson is represented by Marlborough Fine Art. He currently lives and works in London.

excerpt: Paul Hodgson read Dan Burt's poems shortly after Lintott Press published some of them. The artist called, and asked whether the poet would like to collaborate on a book. After discussing it, both thought the project might be worthwhile.

The artist creates his composites from photographs, found images and his, own paintings. Some of these images had been in the artist's possession for several years and, prompted by a poem, he felt able to explore the ideas that had first attracted him to them. He used all three sources for the images in Cold Eye, as well as old photos of the Burt family, requested when he began work. Hodgson chose the ten poems he wished to work with and discussed them with Burt before starting. The two would meet, only once, when the artist deemed an image sufficiently well formed, to discuss that image and the poem that it would accompany.

They talked at length of how image and poem might work together in book form, and how that book might be fashioned. They agreed the order in which the images should appear. Hodgson sent digital images to Burt as he finished the pieces of work, and Burt began selecting fragments of both image and corresponding poem. Burt completed a very rough first draft and sent it to Hodgson for consideration.

Artist and poet met repeatedly in late October and, working very closely together, fashioned this book. The first draft changed substantially, the last draft was what both thought it should be.



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