Fibre show is fantastic – and ekphrastic

Local quilter Marianne Parsons and fabric artist Janet Bednarczyk appear in this upcoming exhibit at the Peachland Art Gallery. The show, Ekphrastic, is features quilts based on 10 Canadian poets with 4 quilts for each poet. There is an opening reception Saturday January 13th from 12 noon – 3 pm at the art gallery with many artists in attendance. So what is “ekphrastic”? Seethe Wikipedia explanation below…

Ekphrasis, from the Greek for the description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise, often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic, is a vivid, often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined. In ancient times, it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek words for ‘out’ and ‘speak’ , and the verb ekphrázein, “to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name”.

According to the Poetry Foundation, “an ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art.”[2] More generally, an ekphrastic poem is a poem inspired or stimulated by a work of art.

Ekphrasis has been considered generally to be a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form, and in doing so, relate more directly to the audience, through its illuminative liveliness. A descriptive work of prose or poetry, a film, or even a photograph may thus highlight through its rhetorical vividness what is happening, or what is shown in, say, any of the visual arts, and in doing so, may enhance the original art and so take on a life of its own through its brilliant description. One example is a painting of a sculpture: the painting is “telling the story of” the sculpture, and so becoming a storyteller, as well as a story (work of art) itself. Virtually any type of artistic medium may be the actor of, or subject of ekphrasis.

In this way, a painting may represent a sculpture, and vice versa; a poem portray a picture; a sculpture depict a heroine of a novel; in fact, given the right circumstances, any art may describe any other art, especially if a rhetorical element, standing for the sentiments of the artist when she/he created her/his work, is present.