Performance Reflections on ‘Seeing Things’: Dorothy Cross

April 20, 2017

The ‘Performance Reflections’ series at Seamus Heaney HomePlace sees a leading artist invited to respond - in whatever way they choose – to a Heaney poetry collection.

On Saturday 20 May, one of Ireland’s leading visual artists, Dorothy Cross, lends her unique vision to Seamus Heaney’s ‘Seeing Things’.

Speaking about her approach to ‘Seeing Things’, which is a specially created video work lasting 30 minutes, Dorothy says:

“I wasn’t familiar with the collection ‘Seeing Things’, which allowed for a certain sense of discovery.  As a visual rather than a textual person, this video work looks at that space between the image and the word.

Seamus Heaney’s poetry is laden with nature and beauty held in words.  When reading poetry, as a non-writer, I tend to focus on one word or phrase, and perhaps miss the next.  It is in the re-reading and familiarisation that crystallisation occurs.  The navigation of a poem is unique to each individual as it also is when encountering artworks.

The video ‘Seeing Things’ is not illustration, rather a phrasing of the visual with a selection of poems from the collection.  This work is held together by Seamus Heaney’s voice, and for those of us who were lucky enough to have met him, that voice holds eternal poetry, charm, curiosity and attention.”

The colour blue plays a prominent role in the work – as with a blue screen in movies where scenes are filmed and later have surrounding elements added to them.  ‘Seeing Things’ is a rhythm of word and image with the voice of Seamus Heaney reading his words throughout. 

Performance Reflections on ‘Seeing Things’ will be preceded by a 10 minute talk from Dorothy Cross about the process of bringing the visual to meet the textual.  Continuing the visual theme, ‘Seeing Things’ will be followed by a screening of another of Dorothy’s works – “Eyemaker” – a 22 minute video which follows the process of a German craftsman making a glass eye.

Tickets for Performance Reflections ‘Seeing Things’ by Dorothy Cross are £10 and are available to book now by clicking here.