We’re coming to the final month of The Colour of Pomegranates, part 2—the digital space, and a discussion that began with an exhibition in 2018, when the artist Genie Poretzky-Lee emailed an image of her pink stained hands to Rosalind Wilson as she was casting a sculpture of an open pomegranate. A connection was made that extended outwards to a shared appreciation of the Soviet director, Sergei Parajanov and his film, The Colour of Pomegranates (1969), a visual poem dedicated to the life of 18th-century Armenian poet and troubadour Sayat-Nova, (1712 –1795).
My original intention was to utilise this opportunity to revisit Sergei Parajanov’s film and delve deeper into the poetry of Sayat Nova. I was drawn to small segments of Parajanov’s imagery and just a couple of Nova’s phrases and used both as a repetitive thought, or mantra, a refrain that runs through all of the films. There are four films, each one a Proposition: Red
is The Colour of Pomegranates. They link Parajanov, Nova and the environment I inhabit. My preoccupation with Covid19 and lockdown is unavoidable, it seeps into me and therefore into the work, to the tap tap tap of the keyboard, the laying down of thoughts, words, images and sounds. I will look back on these videos and remember this time. An ancient fruit, referenced in the Bible, the Koran, and in Buddhist and Chinese arts, the pomegranate has crossed time and place. So, the first proposition is an introduction to the idea of the pomegranate as something other than fruit, a digital foundation of colour, sound and pixels. The second is an exploration of the history of the pomegranate. Video 3 is an initiation into the sexual connections to the fruit, and the passing of time. And the final video is about death, closure and grieving.
Very thankful to Tom Milne and the Digital Artist Residency for the opportunity to think through and make new work.