“I always think that the best way to know God is to love many things.” ~ Vincent van Gogh
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Tuesday, April 12, 2022


... is the name of an art exhibition currently showing locally at the Small Works Gallery. Five local poets, including me, were invited to submit poems which might inspire 11 local artists. I sent them haiku, for the directness and immediacy of the visual images. Three artists chose six – or five – of them. (In the transcribing, sending poems over the internet, two haiku managed to run together as one poem. And hey, it really worked! An artist responded to it as a whole.) 

You may well have read the haiku before. I hunted out ones I'd already written, which have been posted on my blogs. But here they are accompanied by the art works they inspired, and the artists' comments.

 (All images are copyright and should not be used without written permission from the copyright owners. Contact me for details.)

after 10 years

our one frangipani

covers the wall

Photo by Sarah Tempora.

How tickled I was to see that Elaine Pollen's frangipani petals did indeed cover the wall!

Elaine said: 

This poem spoke to me of the wonder of nature, always surprising us, and of Australian summers resplendent with neighbourhood frangipani trees of all varieties. I had my own amazing experience with my own frangipani tree this year, which truly came into its own and suddenly appeared fully grown as if from nowhere.

My work references abstract expressionism and minimalism and speaks to intense transcendent experiences inspired in nature. Experiences which remind us of our place in the world and help us to connect to that still place within and the interconnectedness of all things. These works reflect my inner landscape and search for peace and harmony in an embattled world.



the bougainvillea –

purple splash

Spring breeze –

a dead leaf dangles

from a web


darkness gathers

the old mountains

stand their ground


Annique Goldenberg said:

I have approached this call and response exhibition as a form of poetic assemblage, an ode to memory and evolution. When reading the poems [by which she means everyone's] I found myself drawn to the shorter passages, a line here and there, a haiku, or a senryu. These moments evoked in me images, colours, shapes, and stories which I could then use as a way to initiate a visual realisation. Drawing on my archive of unfinished works, unused papers, and found objects, gathered over the last eleven years, I felt a renewed delight upon discovering sketches, test pieces and fragments of works that had never been given a chance to shine.

A pattern emerged of a layered assemblage approach, forming in response to each poem's impression. I am conscious of how our lives, worlds and times are intimately interconnected, and so enjoyed discovering how the ideas I was drawn to in the poems inspired new meanings and relationships in my material expressions.


Autumn dusk

blue hills darken sharp-edged

against pale sky

And this is another response to one of the haiku Annique also used:

darkness gathers

the old mountains

stand their ground


Shelley Anfield said:

I feel a deep connection to nature and am fascinated by the dichotomy of fragility and strength that exists within all life and the corresponding constant striving for balance. For me, the landscape is a perfect metaphor for the complexities of human life. There is chaos and order, and within that a perfection that is difficult to comprehend. I approach my work as a form of meditation and hope to inspire a moment of stillness and contemplation within the viewer. 

Rosemary Nissen-Wade's haiku incorporating imagery of the mountains and sky inspired me and a response felt inevitable. I generally have a preference for painting large immersive pieces, so the haiku with its brevity seemed to suit the small scale of paintings I chose to create for this exhibition.

... Also, as Rosemary and I are both local artists, I chose to represent Wollumbin, the sacred mountain of our local region, which resides in a World Heritage listed area.

All photos except the first are by Rosemary Nissen-Wade.


  1. Just had time to visit your site. The artwork is amazing and I love esp., the "autumn dusk" and "darkness gathers" pictures. Your verses are lovely and I can see why so many chose yours. I love this, Rosemary.

    1. Thanks for coming to have a look! The whole exhibition, in conjunction with all the poems, was quite marvellous.

  2. Very nice indeed. Easy to navigate and enjoyed this post very much.


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