3.6: where what hovers is possibility | Rebecca Olander & Elizabeth Paul — mixed-media collage/poetry collaborations]
an unseen smaller one
collage, December 2017
5 inches x 7 inches
intro to where what hovers is possibility by krysia jopek [September 2019]
Rebecca Olander and Elizabeth Paul’s selected sequence of collaborative multimedia collages and poetic analogues offers viewers/readers glimpses into the individual and collaborative process of the artist/writer discovering and shaping the cumulative content, form, and interpretive meaning of the visual image/poem as dialectical, post-postmodern [21st century trajectory of postmodernism] process and “finished” product/artifact.
I am honored to feature this collaborative micro virtual show of visual image [multimedia collage] and literary text [poems]. Please enjoy your unique aesthetic/literary experience here; I’m certain that what hovers is possibility will follow/stay with you for a while. The artists and I welcome your comments.
This micro-virtual exhibit, where what hovers is possibility, illustrates the shared creative vision that brought Rebecca Olander and Elizabeth Paul together to commence their artistic partnership. More than any subject matter, genre, or form–it is the creative process, itself, that intrigues them and appears thematically time and again in their work.
Rebecca and Elizabeth met in the low-residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts; Rebecca concentrating in poetry and Elizabeth in creative nonfiction. In a workshop on translation during a ten-day residency, they collaborated on experimental projects. During the next semester, they continued working together along with poet Gail Hanlon. The three exchanged postcards for six months, taking the postcards as starting points for writing.
Their stated goal was to play and the rules of the game were 1.) to spend no more than thirty minutes on the writing and 2.) to work in the space of the postcard. They didn’t discuss the project until it was over. In their subsequent collaborations, Rebecca and Elizabeth continue to embrace play and experimentation. They have also maintained the rule of not discussing projects, allowing each collaborative project to unfold and reveal itself; thereby giving each artist the opportunity to experience the project on her own terms.
The four multimedia collages with poetic analogues showcased here are from Rebecca and Elizabeth’s 48-page, third manuscript, Edges Away: A Collaboration. They completed this project over the course of one year, during which they created and exchanged collages each month and responded the following month with a poem inspired in some way by the collage each received, along with a new collage. Thus, they are both artists and poets in this collaboration. Selections from Edges Away: A Collaboration have been published in The Indianapolis Review (collage selections), Les Femmes Folles, and petrichor; several others are forthcoming in Aperçus.
Their second manuscript of collaborations, How the Letters Invent Us, is a correspondence in prose poems; selections have appeared in Duende’s August, 2018 spotlight, They Said: A Multi-Genre Anthology of Contemporary Collaborative Writing (Black Lawrence Press), and The Adirondack Review’s fall 2019 issue.
Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry has appeared recently in Crab Creek Review, Ilanot Review, Mom Egg Review, Plath Poetry Project, Radar Poetry, Solstice, Yemassee Journal, and other literary journals. Her chapbook, Dressing the Wounds, is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Rebecca teaches writing at Westfield State University and is editor/director of Perugia Press. Rebecca Olander’s website
Elizabeth Paul’s work has appeared in Cold Mountain Review, The Carolina Quarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, Sweet Lit, and CutBank, among other places. Her chapbook Reading Girl published by Finishing Line Press (2016) is an exploration of the art of Henri Matisse. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan and currently teaches writing at George Mason University. Elizabeth Paul’s website