DailyHaiga is delighted to feature haiga from three of our top haiga artists, representing three countries. Their bios can be found in our contributors section. Their haiga will appear as three interleaved sets, featuring their differing perspectives on life and poetry. Below, they talk about their work:
an’ya here: I am firstly a writer of haiku, and secondly tanka, but sometimes the other way around. Haiga however, comes third and is definitely the most difficult form for me, although I persist hoping to improve through practice and perseverance.
Stepping in as editor of haigaonline (after Jeannie Emrich and before Linda Papanicolaou) gave me a taste of haiku painting, and now some of my haiga have been published in places such as Reeds, Red Lights, Modern Haiku, here at DailyHaiga, Haiku Reality, WHCReview, Simply Haiku, The Gean, and various places around the internet.
After a few other editorships coming and going, I am currently just concentrating on being the Oregon Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society of America, and on my own gallery exibitions as “Existence Arts” (which includes haiga), while working on my new moonsite
I came to haiga through haiku, and feel that both poem and artwork should stand on their own, yet add strength to one another. I rarely apply filters to my work or manipulate them to any great extent, but instead, try to capture the beauty of nature as seen through the eye of a camera. On most occasions, my haiga begin with the image, and since we’re a one-camera couple, my husband often takes the photos while I record sounds and impressions on a small tape recorder. In haiga, as in life, I think we make a good team – each of us noticing different things and bringing our own perspectives to the finished product.
Whether on family holidays, weekends in the country, work trips or walks around the block, I’ve always tended to carry some kind of camera with me. But as a photographer I suffer from an almost debilitating shyness that prevents me from pouncing upon a subject and getting the best out of it. In short, I’ve always found the act of taking a photograph to be somewhat indecent, as though I’m sticking my lens somewhere it doesn’t belong. As a writer I’m used to capturing my subjects quietly and holding them in until they emerge on paper – an invisible, private process that, unlike photography, demands nothing but a keen eye and a blink.
Lately, however, the improvements in mobile phone technology has allowed me to snap away discreetly and without having to lug a load of lenses and batteries around with me. But, unlike most keen snappers, I tend to capture images with the assumption that they might one day accompany a poem. So whilst my family and friends are busy composing a shot of a hot air balloon in a Bournemouth park, I quietly capture a shot of an empty bench. Whilst others are taking sneaky photographs of themselves beside great works of art at Tate Modern, I slip away to get a discreet shot of the escalators. Sooner or later I find myself flicking through hundreds of randomly seized moments and adding the poems they’ve been waiting for. This, for me, is the haiga moment – a moment that calls upon small events of my recent past in order to create an often surprising and altogether thrilling instance of artistic convergence.