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Is it anything - or perhaps a wide continuum of forms, methods of collaboration and visual presentation which have in common experimenting with ways to combine the textual and visual (and in this program, photographic) components? The work produced can be as much about the content of the text and images as it is about the nature of the letters, words, design, materials, processes, and images. The result could take the form of book, collage, poster, installation or a whole range of other approaches to fusing word and image. When successful, in whatever form, the combination of text and image is much more than illustrative and elicits a dialog and questions in the reading of the work. The presentation of such material could be in book form, displayed as an object or on the wall, or performed in combinations of reading, sound, visuals, etc.

Photo Poetry Surfaces, a part of the Bristol Photo Festival 2021, is a set of photo-visual-poetics activities organised by David Solo, Astra Papachristodoulou and Paul Hawkins. It will include an online exhibition exploring and presenting a range of photo-poetic and visual poetry works accompanied by a printed catalog. There is also a public program with artists talking about and performing their work along with a discussion mapping out the spectrum of photo and poetry combinations, talking about the nature of such collaborations, how such material may be “read” and looking at ways to assess or evaluate such work. For the 2021 edition of the festival, we’ve chosen a range of work made in the last few years by both emerging and established artists that highlights the breadth of ideas being expressed through verse and photo.

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