Stars will align on Art Center’s South Campus rooftop on Tuesday, April 23, when poets and artists come together for a special event focused on separate projects exploring Antarctica created by Katharine Coles and Lita Albuquerque. Coles, Utah Poet Laureate Emeritus, and Albuquerque, Art Center Graduate Art faculty member, will be joined by Poetry Foundation President and Red Hen poet John Barr. Hosted by Red Hen Press, an organization committed to publishing works of literary excellence, supporting diversity and promoting literacy in our local schools, the event will also feature a poetry reading by Barr.
The Earth Is Not Flat (Red Hen Press, 2013) by Coles was inspired by her trip to Antarctica funded by the National Science Foundation. Filled with poetry that enters the infinite space/time continuum that is the southern bowl of the planet, The Earth Is Not Flat both observes and engages the idea of what the environment of the South Pole means as humans encounter it.
Albuquerque created the artwork, Stellar Axis, on the Ross Ice Shelf at the South Pole from Dec. 14-27, 2006, and she provided Red Hen Press with one of the photos of the installation for the cover of Coles’ poetry collection. Stellar Axis is an ephemeral installation of a star map on ice. Albuquerque and her team placed ninety-nine blue spheres on the ice to correspond with the stars above them, stars not visible at that time of year when it was light all the time.
As Albuquerque said, “I am interested in change of scale: how the observer affects the object of observation; space as a void; non-space existing in time… Some brittle stars exist in the Antarctic and Arctic, and some are found even in the deepest parts of the ocean where there is no sunlight. Others have exquisitely developed crystalline lenses, formed from the bone in their skeletons, which focus light inside their bodies and enable them to see. But this is not blackness, it is full of something from long ago with the potential of something yet to be.” [ed. note: Stellar Axis was also featured on the cover of Art Center’s Dot magazine (Spring 2012), which included a feature story on another of Albuquerque’s seminal projects, Spine of the Earth.]
Archetype Press, Art Center’s experimental letterpress workshop overseen by Professor Gloria Kondrup, will be creating limited edition broadsides to commemorate the occasion.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Red Hen Press website.