Two? Yes, two. Two literary responses to Jennifer Bevill's "Undersea;" two broadside designs. Maureen Seaton's "Rules for Cave Diving" and Sheila Kelly's "Homeless."
We got so many fascinating responses to this year's Switcheroo—watery ones, caged ones, bookish ones. Poems and short prose that followed the image closely and work that drifted out from it. We wanted to pick just one, but we we couldn't.
So this year, we give you two. We hope that you love the opportunity to consider what different work can be inspired by a single piece of visual art. Different subjects and emotional registers; different tones and engagements.
As with every Broadsided publication, you can read what the artist and authors thought of the whole process in our Collaborators' Q&A.
Our thanks go out to all who submitted work to this Switcheroo and to Michele L'Heureux, who chose Jennifer Bevill's art. Read below for her curatorial statement. We look forward to seeing what art and literature come into conversation in our next Switcheroo.
Elizabeth Bradfield, Roger Sederat, and Alexandra Teague
Notes on Process
All Broadsided artists were invited to submit up to three pieces of work for the Switcheroo. We then asked Michele L'Heureux the 2015 Switcheroo artist, to review the submissions, choosing one that she thought would be open to literary response and would work in the Broadsided format.
Of her decision, she had this to say:
I love the ambiguity and abstraction of the light grey vessel-like/figurative form on the right, and I'm a sucker for a grid, which has all sorts of connotations: fence, quilt, net, cage. I also think the indecipherable text on the left side is very provocative, ripe for all kinds of translations. The delicate vine and leaf pattern lends a strange prettiness to what otherwise feels like a slightly eerie, prison-like environment. I feel as if I might be peering at the underside of an exposed mattress or box spring, which is a space that seems fraught and complicated, with plenty of stories to tell.
The Original Image
"Undersea" by Jennifer Bevill