Sleeping In The Middle is a new project seeking to intertwine poetry and photography.
In 2015, photographer AJ Wilkinson faced the ending of a 25 year relationship. To communicate some of the sense of loss he felt and the heightened emotional states he encountered, he made photographs. A year later, AJ and Pauline Rowe (Open Eye Gallery’s Writer in Residence) began a collaboration, using the images as a starting point. Together, they have woven original poetry and images around each other, creating a moving synthesis of words and image.
The poems borrow lines from William Blake, Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wyatt: these lines interlace with Pauline’s, carrying with them the charge of the original poems they are sampled from. The photographs will be projected on to large screens, with recordings of Pauline’s poetry playing out loud through the gallery space. Here, spoken word does not seek to explain or contextualise the images, but instead offer a more immersive way of approaching how it feels to lose someone close.