Postit notes play a major role in my editing process, their sticky strips being the perfect place to line up the words that will later become diagram poems. I arrange the words thematically or by mood, with a different colour for each category – orange is religious, pink is sexy for example. When choosing the words that I’ll use in a diagram poem this system enables me to jump to the right sorts of words, working within a single category or mixing it up with cross categorical selections. Orange and pink are regular combinations as my practice as a whole is largely concerned with faith and superstition, prohibitive belief and the traditions that guide our behaviour. I like to make work that walks the line between reverence and irreverence, as in many ways my art-making leads to the renegotiation of my own beliefs.
This use of postits as a way to order cut-out sections of text enables me to edit my work in physical space. The process of writing a poem comes to overlap with the process of assembling a sculpture as I add, remove and reposition words and phrases, exploring their relationships with a simplicity not possible when using a word processor. The above image shows completed stanzas awaiting diagrams, at this point the colour coding goes out the window and finalised phrases are collected on any empty posit. I can easily pair words with each other as well as with images, colours, textures and structures to begin to see how they will work in a finished diagram poem. My desk is covered in off-cuts of previous collages, magazine clippings and readymade diagrams from old text books. Making a diagram poem is very much an intuitive process of finding small glimpses of order and chance connections that allude to new meanings or create emotional weight amidst this litter of words and images.