Fragment House Collaboration – Part II
As a poet who shapes words into bundles and couplets and waves across and down a page, I have always felt a kinship with sculpture. So when I had the opportunity to work with Danielle on a piece for the Slocum River Project, I was very excited. I admire—and am inspired by—the ways her sculptures engage a range of materials (clay, mosaic, concrete, hair, glass, even the way she invites light into her work). I was curious what materials she would choose for this project, especially after we visited the site together with its multi-textured landscapes, salt air, boulder walls, weaving gulls, bluebird boxes, and hints everywhere of past inhabitants. As her vision for a fragment house developed—one that offered refuge and reminders of loss, structure and textures of breakage—I began to think about voice. What would the voice of such a house sound like? What might it have witnessed over its life in this field? What memories—whole or tattered—could it hold? This is where I began to shape my poem, and as Danielle and I talked about where it would appear in or on the house, the idea of etching it into the glass pane emerged, almost like a letter someone left behind. And while we liked to idea of the “natural” sounds moving in and around this house with its glass-remnant walls like wind harps, we wanted to offer the disembodied voice reading the poem and accessible by dialing a phone number—a voice close but also very far away. Something like memory.
Mary Pinard, Babson College Arts and Humanities Division