In The Open | Camilla Nelson & Steven Hitchins
Camilla Nelson is a British language artist and researcher based in South West England. Her work explores the intersection of human and other-than human organisms and environments in page-based poetry, installation and performance. Camilla is founding editor of Singing Apple Press, a small independent press that produces hand-crafted, limited edition poem-prints, books and other objects.
Steven Hitchins lives in Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd. His publications include Bitch Dust (Hafan, 2012), Real Radio (Gwasg CAD Press, 2014) and The White City (Aquifer, 2015). He has performed at the Hay Poetry Jamboree in Hay-on-Wye, Poets Live in Paris, the Bath Arts Fringe Festival and the North Wales International Poetry Festival. He runs The Literary Pocket Book small press, publishing experimental poetry in miniature origami editions: literarypocketblog.wordpress.com
Some time in 2015, pages from F. J. North’s Coal and the Coalfields in Wales (1931) were left to deteriorate in a coalfield swamp. From time to time the specimens were suffused with mud and silt sufficient to cover up and seal the letters. Eventually the remains were partially retrieved. OCR text recognition was used to take casts or moulds of the crumbs. Each translated these fossilized texts according to our own manner. Each attempting to perceive patterns in the carboniferous strata. Each remaking the originals in altered ferns. The remaining pages were pulped and reformed. These petrifactions preserve the external form of the debris: tears in paper replicate in the contours of each stanza. Our dual translations are printed onto transparent pages to sit side by side in recto/verso arrangement for comparative consumption. The intersect and overlay of digital and material texts manifest a palimpsest process of construction. The text forms, steadily, dimity.