’30 Days of Winter’, Day 1


This is a four-piece series of paintings which I have titled, for some reason, ‘Small-scapes”.

It is inspired by the arid Australian landscape, specifically based on a series of photographs I took whilst on trips to western NSW in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Done with immediacy and simple technique, the naïveté is intended.

Acrylic paint, oil paint, oil stick and pen ink on found plastic, approx 10cm x 20cm.

This is the first instalment in an intended 30-day project, during which I aim to make/complete at least one artwork per day, in a project itself titled “30 Days of Winter” . See the outline of that here

Trackmarks in Haukijärvi

On cold February nights in Finland
I slept with the curtains wide open
for the first few weeks.
By the light of a moon or
just the sheer bright
whiteness of the snow
which covered the ground
and hung in the trees,
I was able to look out
at the black branches
moving in the breeze
as the edge of storm swept in
from Siberia and Europe froze.
But February moved on
and the days began to dawn sunny
and walks down slip-ice roads
increasingly revealed
activity in the night,
movement occurring across the fields,
the trackmarks on unknown animals
making unknown progress to
unknown places.
It was in those later weeks that
I closed my curtains at night,
other unknown footsteps
possibly being seen
beneath my window sill.

The Great Poetry Translation Project

My friend Tamara Don is living in Paris, where she is working as, among other things, a translator. And on my recent visit to the City of Light, she and I discussed the idea of translating some of my poems from English into French. Needless to say, I was excited by this prospect and thus we agreed to begin working on series of such translations together.

It is coming along nicely and I find the results very interesting … I’d never really thought about how hard translating poetry might be, the need to balance the correct intended nuance with the nuance of another language, plus trying to convey the rhythm of the sentences etcetera.

Anyway, as I said, it is coming along, and Tamara is doing a great job. So great in fact, there are plans to translate some of my poems into a third language. I shall leave that undisclosed for now, but for the moment, here are a couple of the initial translations.

First in English

Hall Street                                                    by Adam Gibson ©
Killing time on Hall Street
the lost heart of Bondi
the commercial strip of
things getting done
and backpackers
expert on everything
after just one week
in town
(of course)

And then in French

Hall Street                                                    by Adam Gibson ©

Tuer le temps à Hall Street
le centre oublié de Bondi
la zone commerciale où
les tâches sont accomplies
et les routards
sont experts en toutes choses
après une petite semaine
en ville
(bien sûr).

And another one…

Beware                                                    by Adam Gibson ©

beware of cars with hats behind the back seat
beware of girls with hip-length hair
beware of days with still still mornings
beware of funk bands
beware of those who are silent on politics
beware of journalists
beware of ‘team players’
beware of the westerly
beware of nylon shower curtains that stick to your shins
beware of those who don’t leave messages on answering machines
beware of moths
beware of “Ciao”
beware of endings
beware of full stops (.)

And then in French…

Prenez garde                                                    by Adam Gibson ©

gare aux voitures qui cachent des chapeaux à l’arrière
gare aux filles dont les cheveux tombent jusqu’à la taille
gare aux journées qui commencent par des matinées trop tranquilles
gare aux groupes de funk
gare aux politiquement silencieux
gare aux journalistes
gare à ceux qui ont ‘l’esprit d’équipe’
gare aux vents de l’ouest
gare aux rideaux de douche en nylon qui collent aux jambes
gare à ceux qui ne laissent jamais de messages sur les répondeurs
gare aux mites
gare aux « Ciao »
gare aux fins
gare aux points (.)


That is it for now, but stay tuned for more updates soon.