POEM – James Cramb, 1983, a Polyptych of 12 Panels, Acrylic on Board. Dundee Art Galleries and Museums Collection (Dundee City Council).
POEM, the first fully integrated large work, derives its title from the question what is poetic? Or what makes poetry? The Dada movement suggested groupings of sounds could be a poem. My grouping of colour and characters is another suggestion. A visual poetry? A poetic vision?
What this work is not: is an alphabet or code, cypher or system of hieroglyphics which can be understood with a key. There is no language equivalent.
It is rather, a visual dance in which characters inter relate vertically, horizontally, diagonally individually and in groups. A cast of characters which will be re-employed in other productions and colour contexts. POEM is the beginning of a lifelong exploration in, what is for me, a new and unexpected visual world.
Selected early works