While browsing in a bookstore some years ago, Brigitte Carnochan happened across a volume of poems. The poems were from Japanese women from the 7th through the 20th centuries.
“I was immediately drawn to the poems, and as I read them—so allusive and rich imagery—I knew that I wanted to make photographic equivalents. The images floated from the pages to my imagination almost ready-made.” Brigitte Carnochan, from the Preface
As with many of us when we come across something as fortuitous as what Carnochan held in her hands in that bookstore, the words remained with the photographer and she could not let the poems go, haunting and taunting her until she realized what she had to do.
The result is, “Floating World, Allusions to Poems by Japanese Women of the 7th-20th Centuries.” And you will be richer for her efforts, and the words that stayed stayed with her for so many years.
In the Introduction to “Floating World,” John Wood, writes, “The art of Brigitte Carnochan, even without the Japanese subject matter of her new work, suggests the art of ukyio-e, those pictures of the floating world.
“The floating world was the world of sensuality, of poems, lilies, chrysanthemums, and cherry blossoms breaking open to release their dense narcotic musk…”
Wood continues to describe a world of the senses that permeate our whole being. In her new book, Carnochan takes us to those places of sensuality and richness, with pictures and words; places (and pages) where we want linger awhile.
Her subtly transformed words evoke haiku and other iterations of short poetic phrasings that serve to haunt the soul.
flutter through my dreams.
Butterflies, tell me,
can you still see in my village
the wisteria blossoms falling
Even without accompanying image, “Butterflies, Tell Me,” (left) one can close her eyes and picture the village, the butterflies, and the blossoms falling. The picture, however, brings it all together.
I have leafed through this wonderful volume of poetry and imagery several times, lingering and taking in each word, and always come away with a sense of longing for those very villages Carnochan visits. More than 40 plates and poems are offered. No matter how you acquire this book, you should reserve a dedicated place for Floating World in your home and on your bookshelf.
Her Preface coupled with the Introduction by John Wood, serves to set the stage for a creative journey that those who hold the book in theirs hands will never forget.