Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday Artist: Alastair Cook & Filmpoem

. . . Listening to a poem is not like reading a poem; there's a sense 
of enlivening as a poem is launched into the air. . . .
~ Alastair Cook

Based in Scotland, the award-winning filmmaker, videographer and fine art photographer Alastair Cook founded in 2010 Filmpoem, a rich source of imaginative shorts that combine images and text, usually with music. Some remarkable productions come from Filmpoem's educational and community projects, as well as its creative collaborations with poets, filmmakers, and composers.

One of Cook's most recent works, expected to be onscreen worldwide this autumn, is Amerika (The Man Who Disappeared), which took three years to make. Featuring a sound track by composer Luca Nasciuti and read by poet Rachel McCrum, Amerika includes found film from the Internet Archive, snippets of which were sent to 20 poets who were invited to create exphrastic lines that subsequently were assembled as a unique poem. The collaborators are poets Polly Rowena Atkin, Jo Bell, Dave Bonta, Ian Duhig, Emily Dodd, Vicky Feaver, Linda France, John Glenday, Vona Groarke, Brian Johnstone, Pippa Little, Rachel McCrum, Jane McKie, Robert Peake, Andrew Philip, Angela Readman, Stevie Ronnie, Gerald Rudolf, George Szirtes, and Michael Vandebril.

One of Cook's commissioned projects is the excellent eight-film series for Absent Voices, an artist-led project to tell the story of the sugar industry in the Scottish town of Greenock. (View images from the Absent Voices portfolio.) Another is a series, commissioned by The Poetry Society, using the winning poems of the 2014 National Poetry Competition. Read the poems or watch the related filmpoems.

My thanks to Dave Bonta for introducing me some time ago to the creative work of Alastair Cook.

View other Alastair Cook films. Commissioned work can be found on Cook's Website under the drop down menu for Commissions

Cook also is the founder of Documenting Britain

Alastair Cook on Vimeo, Where I Make, FaceBook, and Twitter

Written in My Hand, Alastair Cook Blog

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