Ekphrasis – Marina Robins

Reflections, Parramatta by Marina Robins who is a multi-disciplinary Canadian/Australian whose practice incorporates performance, music and dance, photography, video and textiles – living on Darug country.

Peter Cartwright
Instantiating Parramatta
After the visual artwork, “Reflections” by Marina Robins

I followed you through your striated skies,
down your river, jumped through your windows
struggling to escape
bland gestures of rationality
to capture that homeostatic version of you
that keeps breaking,
and slipping away through the locked door
of my mind’s lust for labels.
Tribes stand shoulders to shoulders, eyes to eyes,
top to bottom, stacked in towers of boxes,
walking straight, black eel streets with their totems
on their faces, on their clothes, and on their arms.
I am initialised by you, and you by me, momentarily.
Chasing the artist is chasing Parramatta
—approaching by exclamations that flash away
like white cockatoos that fly past my window
and become specks in the distance—
My peripheral vision surpasses my enslaved mind.
Nobody knows you, just parts:
dark corners                shining lights,             and streets,
buildings (trapezoids squashed into order), staring blindly
at nimbus that crowns and cirrus that speckles
the cup overhead that has its own godlike permanence.
Who are you? A virgin? A whore? Ancient? Modern?
A child staring out a window at the wildness
outside? A queen in exile
whose answer to that vexed question ‘who are you?’
I won’t comprehend because my words
have more corporeality than you will ever have or need?
I live in chains while you fly
on winds of exhilarated roars of freedom.
You watch me with your many eyes,
and two of them bug out like the heart chakra.
I am mere jelly, challenged by wide blue
sky                  water               river  
 buildings reflecting the  sky, windows absorbing the  sun.
I wonder at the waves of blue
that are royal, sad, sanguine, resigned,
alive and electric.
Come, bring yourself to me,
wander around me, look around me,
let me wander around and look around you.
All walls are porous now, all doors unlocked and all windows clean,
but you are still a mystery to me,
and we can tell all the world our grand stories
as we burn
                                 down all those crippling gates
                                                            and fly.

Dannielle Viera 
In the Depths
(Inspired by Reflections Parramatta by Marina Robins)

Diamond eyes mask cool intent.
Indigo fingers quiver
their come-hither bid.
Resistance becomes useless.

I plunge into despair’s dour pool.
Push-and-pull swells
chest-press heavily.
Lungs crumple like paper bags.

Shadows seep slowly into view.
Endlessness envelops
my world-weary soul.
A watershed moment beckons.

Legs lunge towards the light.
Swift strokes ride ripples
to safety’s vital side.
Instinct is a life-preserver.

Artist Comment
Peter Cartwright’s work is interesting. He has captured the image with his words and describing it well. I feel that at the same time he is looking for me in the image. He wants to understand the creator in order for him to arrive at a better understanding of the work.

I feel like Dannielle Viera really examined the image I created and described what she saw. Some of her description is what I see, and some of her story lets me see my work in a different light. I love the words, ‘Endlessness envelops’. Such a clever use of the words, especially ‘envelops’.

Writer Bios
Peter Cartwright has been called Parramatta’s poet and been awarded in ZineWest. He writes about life in Western Sydney in a wide variety of styles.

Dannielle Viera is an author, editor and proofreader with over 20 years’ experience in the Australian publishing industry.