More surfaces, angles and corners

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These are valued contributions that show us the many and varied movements of time and change.

Those participants invited and willing from the project’s inception have an arts stake in their community, have offered historical memoirs, provided nostalgic reflections through elaborated memories, imagined connections, interviews and conversations, have made observations that mirror everyday life on Queen Street, of people from the local community, of place and business that track the past to the here-and-now.

A story such as Gabrielle Moran’s As Time Goes By seems to be a personal matter, here is a concern for an individual, and it is in the course of engaging with this person we begin to discover that there is a ripple effect. We are exposed to a quality of narrative that sweeps a reader along into a shared public domain on Queen Street. We may speak of the unfolding declarative statements of Richard List, whose authentic micro episodes of personal thoughts lay passionate and raw on the page. There for the tapping is Michael Stoneburner’s poem 69-71, where embedded meaning collapses great stretches of time and re-textualises the movement of time and places along Queen Street. Ann Babinard has further intertextualised the poem and sprinkled it with allusion to the visible evidence of human endeavours in her effected stop-motion photography in the video-poem, in which Michael also reads.

Historical lineages are used in Anita Faulkner’s art works in her response to Michael Stoneburner’s poem Lethbridge and again in a work that we were not able to feature within the printed confines of these pages: a mixed media sculpture, which is a representation of Queen Street and through the visual qualities of mapping; objects found and sourced positioned like jewels along the expanse of the work. The work draws together a particular structural statement which expresses an inquiring artist’s curiosity and tenacity. The work can be described as a representation of a number of lines moving in different directions, all connected to a main stem by a series of joints or burfications. It is form made up of those surfaces we can see on Queen Street, St Marys.This is also present in Lynne Forde’s contribution that seamlessly tracks both sides of Queen Street’s retail past. Adel Farag’s entry shifts our focus towards the future while Jacqueline Tasik adds whispering notes that resonate the absence of the majestic trees that lined both sides of Queen Street in Liquid Amber Trees. All submissions offer a vicarious experience with the capacity to transport the reader/hearer beyond boundaries of time, space, language, ethnicity, class or gender. There have been some exceptional concepts stylised and realised by the project creative team in particular Sarah Emerson, Anita Faulkner, Ann Babinard and Amber Bolton. The landmark project is largely the visionary persuasion of Adnan Begic who combines directness and simplicity, sensitivity and warmth to present a diversity of contemporary discourse along many lines.

If we are publishing the work of great writers and great artists then we need to publish these works in the best possible package we can. The design and philosophical considerations of the book in both form and attitude are to celebrate the written words that emphasise the visual in addition to the material elements of letters.Traditional typography settings have been used that have been typeset to a contemporary square page. This practice implies a robust appreciation for writing and of books and a willingness to dismantle, cut, dissect and deconstruct a book. The use of the international military alphabet is to give weight to the words; stretch the boundaries to each of the three partitions, to provide an overlaying voiced rhythm to the gallery on the printed page. There are two sides to the street and there are two sides to view and experience the words lining up like soldiers across the page sharing equal weight in the development of a work.

Surfaces, Angles and Corners: Queen Street St Marys is a documented record that constitutes an accumulative, open-ended, multi-directional in time and space, immediate, historical and in the zone of maximal contact with the present.

In this social environment there is room for more and more books to appear which in one way or another respond to changing practical orientations. I hope that the conditions which have made this book possible continue to exist in ways which make more interesting and challenging work emerge from the St Marys creative arts community. 

Angela Stretch, September 2016

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