Summary: This book is a mixture of photos and poems. The photos are of pylons, the words are written from the point of view of the mind's object that took them - a pinhole camera. Sound baffling enough? Interested....read on...
What is creativity? Let me have a stab at a definition: The expression of idea(s), to convey, explain and/or mean a myriad of things, at any one given time, displayed or presented in a set format, that has never before existed?
I give you pylons. And lots of them. Thirty photos actually. Go on take a look. It will never be what you expected. And that's the first point - this book will defy your expectation. Which is always a good start. Was this work commissioned by the electricity board? if not, should it have been?
Then we have sonnets? The world for a sonnet? ole ye english rose, Welsh actually, stir thy self old man. What? 14 liners. To be or not to be. Yes. Pylons and sonnests, sons, sonnies, sonnettes. Yes those things. Does anyone care about form anymore? 1912 ushered in 'free' verse, and so the literary world of poetic inclination lost it's truest definition. That thing that separates it out from all other forms of writing. But words, alas, also have meaning. They imply things. God? or not? we should value them. They are precious - like electricity itself. The two things are the same. Hence this book. Pylons carry electricity - so do words.
But then, is it entertaining? Interesting? Provocative? Dangerous? Worth buying?(£11.99 it costs - that's a good few pints worth) Is it worth reading? Keeping? and then referring back to? And finally where does it go on the shelf? Next to who?
This book of poetry/photography goes way beyond the realms of the everyday life it's supposed to represent. But where? Anywhere - that's the point - your interpretation is your own.
The book itself: Using a pylon (an every day object) as the subject matter of a book of photos (taken with the uttermost basic of photographic device - a pinhole camera) of it's base, and then asking a writer to comment on it, seems a strange idea. Too conceptual? Does it work? Mostly?
What I like, yes the idea is clever, but conceptualisation shouldn't just present the idea, it has to go a lot further. I think it does. I like the mentality of it. Meaning, pylons are essential - without them we'd have no electric - and in today's world it would come to a grinding halt without them.
But simply then to say, this book just shows how we take them for granted, call them an eyesore, a landscape blotter, and an irritant etc. Is missing the point. The book is not about that. In my interpretation anyway. People use cameras to capture the moment. These moments are not what you'd expect.
The admittance of how the book came about is written in the afterword. Which is fair enough. The author is well known in literary circles. Don't know anything about the photographer. The introduction is written by another well known writer.
I am not going to print any words here. You'll have to buy the book.
How we see and perceive the world around us is crucial though. And there-in lies the point of this book. This book reads from the point of view of the camera - what does it see? everyone will see something different.
Seeing, visualising, interpreting, analysing, suggesting, mental conflagration, remoteness, isolation, subject/object, power - who has it/who wants it? all these processes are discussed in the text.
To be ultra critical, you could say without the Books Council this book and others like it, wouldn't exist. But it does need to exist. We need culture - just like we need electricity.