A Process Note
Laura Frare and Mary Kathryn Jablonski have known each other for many years as artists; having met while Mary was a gallerist, exhibiting Laura’s paintings. They became reacquainted recently at an exhibition where Mary saw Laura’s film works, and immediately upon viewing them invited Laura to collaborate with her. In retrospect, the collaboration seemed imminent, as Laura’s artwork and filmmaking is lyrical and Mary’s poems are based in her artistic world.
Although both tend to work in solitude, the creative process flows naturally, thanks to technology. File sharing enables them to work privately and surprise one another with intuitive combinations through collage-like processes. By creating shared folders, they leave “gifts” for one another, including recorded poems, nature sounds, sound effects, original music, whistling, humming, and more; not unlike cats lining up mice at the door when the master arrives home from work.
About “These past few days of freezing rains,” Mary Kathryn says, For this piece, I began by leaving Laura several choices for whispered texts and gave her the option to use them (or not) with the poetic text. I also gave her several versions of the hymn “Balm of Gilead,” which I sang and hummed, having chosen it intuitively to pair with the poem. She shocked me with the image of the one blue mitten, the crystalline sky, and then the imagery of the skater, the partner’s hand slipping away at the beginning of her dance, the repetitive circling, just as the subtext begins; it all fit perfectly. I never would have conceived of it or asked for it, but I loved it immediately. Our work seems to require very little editing; we have a natural ESP.
In spite of this need each has for privacy, there is a closeness and intuitive intimacy, appreciation, and gratitude that allows for trust and openness during communication and the back and forth required to make these film/poem works. This allows each to stretch beyond their usual capacity, learning new things, experimenting, and growing, upon seeing unexpected connections form during the creative process. The results are often surprising, expansive, and richly rewarding, as they reveal achievements never possible to arrive at working alone.
Visual artist/poet Mary Kathryn Jablonski has been a contributor at Numero Cinq magazine and is author of To the Husband I Have Not Yet Met. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals including Salmagundi, Beloit Poetry Journal, Slipstream, and Blueline, among others. Her artwork has been exhibited throughout the Northeast U.S. and is held in public & private collections.
Laura Frare is an experimental filmmaker, and a self taught multi-instrumentalist, playing a variety of electronic and digital instruments, making audio field recordings, loops, and samples. Employing the “exquisite corpse” method, much like a collagist, she loves participating in collaborative projects with other artists.
Laura Frare and Mary Kathryn Jablonski have known each other for many years as artists; having met while Mary Kathryn was a gallerist, exhibiting Laura’s paintings. They became reacquainted recently at an exhibition where Mary Kathryn saw Laura’s film works, and immediately upon viewing them Mary Kathryn invited Laura to collaborate with her. In retrospect, the collaboration seemed imminent, as Laura’s artwork and filmmaking is lyrical and Mary Kathryn’s poems are based in her artistic world. The creative process flows naturally and is richly rewarding, as the results reveal surprises never possible to achieve in working alone.