June 2, 2017

Poetry Friday--Ekphrastic Cherita

A few weeks ago I spent several hours at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem, MA. Although I thought I wouldn't like the exhibit titled, "WOW® World of WearableArt™," I found myself enjoying the show immensely.

The stated purpose of the design competition that formed the basis of the exhibit is to
"get art off the walls and onto the body."
The competition's requirement was that the artwork outfit be wearable by a model, not just appear in a sketch or on a mannequin.

The variety of materials used is mind-boggling--from standard leather to milk-carton-type plastic to re-purposed handcuffs.

Here are a few of the photos I took during my visit and the cherita they inspired.





































smell of well-oiled leather

sufficient to alert
her senses

her skin still
tingles even though
he is gone





































near dawn

field mice feast on rice
between the cobblestones

his new mother-in-law
tallies up the cash
in their wedding cards





































car show & swap meet

the 70-year-olds
around 50s models

grinning with each
story dredged up
from god-knows-where




























after surgery

an appointment
at the lingerie shop

the weathered skin
of the woman who
fits the bras





































Valentine's Day

she fingers
a rose quartz talisman

her mailbox empty
except for the junk mail
...same as every day

Photos and cherita © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

For those who don't know the terms "ekphrasis" and "cherita," ekphrasis is art about art. Cherita is a small poem with 3 stanzas of 1, 2, 3 lines, and tells a story.

If you're in the Boston area, please be aware that the "WOW® World of WearableArt™" ends on Sunday, June 11.

Buffy's Blog will be hosting the Round-Up this week. See you there!

26 comments:

  1. "after surgery" = poignant.

    This art competition takes creativity to a whole new level!

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  2. Oh, that lizard, wow! I will share this with my daughter who is at our Museum of Modern Art. I imagine she'll love it, Diane. You're inspiring me to try the cherita again. I love each one.

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    1. I'm sure she's heard of it. The competition is more than 25 years old!

      Try your hand at the cherita. It's a different kind of challenge with it's storytelling aspect.

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  3. Love the unexpected turns at the ends of these (the m.i.l. tallying up cash made me laugh.)

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    1. I'm always happy when something of mine makes a person laugh!

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  4. What wild and wacky exhibits! Like the humor and surprise in your responses.

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    1. Wild and wacky it is! Here's a idea of how people can move in such outfits! https://youtu.be/vmJsWq4aQV8

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  5. Wow, what an experience! I love it when creative boundaries are pushed, and inspiration breaks outside of the box!

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    1. Depending upon the artist, a box just might be the inspiration!

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  6. All of these are so fun!The seventy year olds at the swap meet and the weathered skin of the woman fitting bras. You are sharp-funny. My favorite! The photos are incredible. Some of those outfits....well, glad I don't have to wear them!

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    1. The photos show what a good job the PEM does at display and lighting!

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  7. These are such wonderful expressions of the weird lives inside this art form. The poems help me relate to the artwork in a new way.

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    1. That's the beauty of ekphrasis--changing the way the viewer relates!

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  8. Wow. How would you sit down? These may enter my dreams now.

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    1. Never mind sitting down, how does one get into these outfits?

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  9. Diane, you always hold my interest as your create. These poems are creative, clever, and funny, especially Dawn and the alligator poems. Thanks for introducing me to the cherita. Maybe someday I will try it and then you can give me pointers after I place a draft on the page.

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    1. Cherita is a new form for me, so I'm a learner myself. I wouldn't think of trying to provide pointers.

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  10. That's what I love about PEM. They always have interesting, and sometimes quirky, exhibits. You never know what you are going to find...and enjoy! We didn't make it to WOW and I think it just closed. :-( -- Christie @ https://wonderingandwondering.wordpress.com/blog/

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    1. It doesn't close until next Sunday, the 11th!

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  11. Judging by the exhibit's title, I would have expected something fashion related... this is SO much better! And in each case, your poem brought a new dimension. If any one of these photos was given as a prompt in a writing workshop, imagine how wonderfully varied the stories might be!

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    1. That might be a fun writing workshop! I almost always use a visual to get to the words.

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  12. WOW! What incredible photos of the art--and I love the cheritas you wrote in response. The combination has my mind spinning in all directions.

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  13. AMAZING! The wearable art is so striking and your poems are so inventive.

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  14. Loving that little driving outfit! :)

    And you've definitely popped 'cheritas' on my list of poems to try! You do them all so well! But that lizard... and the swap meet. #faves

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  15. Some amazing art people are 'wearing'...and so inspirational! You've been busy...I especially liked the P.O.V. of 'dawn.'

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