Continental Drift Project
Continental Drift was an area of collaboration between me, visual artist Michele Marcoux (based in Scotland) and poet Sheila Black (based in New Mexico) which explored what we called the “inner weather” of dislocation – within family, society, culture.
The starting point for me was a box of slides from a 1968 family holiday that I found in a drawer 40 years later. Having never seen the pictures before (or not remembering that I had) the pictures evoked an overwhelming searching kind of nostalgia. Who were these people, what was their story, what happened to them next. The fact that ‘these people’ were my parents, brothers and sister, myself, didn’t alter the fact that they seemed like strangers.
Sheila and I used a method of collaboration involving a to-and-fro flow of text and artworks—a kind of call and response process—in which neither of us “illustrated” the other’s work, but rather used the other’s processes as a trigger to generate increased associative, visual, and rhetorical connections. Through this process we developed both poetry and visual work including an exhibition and long poem called Continental Drift and a series of short poems called The floating poems.