Poet Antoinette Libro
Toni is an award-winning writer whose poetry is published regularly in a wide variety of literary journals and anthologies. Her poems take many forms, including those influenced by an Eastern aesthetic, such as the Haiku and Tanka, with its emphasis on nature, human nature, perishability and living in the moment.
She studied literature and arts of the East in a graduate program at New York University and lived in Kyoto, Japan under the auspices of NYU, immersed in Japanese culture. When she encountered the batik artwork of Cindy Wilson, Toni felt an immediate affinity with the artist and her creative spirit, and was especially drawn to her amazing artistic batik creations in indigo.
The Haiku and Tanka forms were felt to be the most natural poetic expression in response to the evocative indigo batik works, with their emphasis on nature and stark beauty of the image, air of mystery, and what the Japanese call “mono-no-aware” literally meaning the “ahhness of things” or bittersweet awareness of the fleeting nature of life.
Now, in a fortunate stroke of serendipity, the two artists have entered into a collaboration where their words and images complement one another, serving to enhance the essence of each. They invite you to venture into the enchanted world of the “Midnight in the Garden of Indigo” exhibit and enjoy the inspired interplay between their artwork and poems.
Some of these poems have appeared in the following journals: Brussels Sprout; Dragonfly, A Quarterly of Haiku; Moonbathing: A Journal of Women’s Tanka; and Red Lights. Also, Kokoro: Seasons of the Heart, a chapbook by Antoinette Libro.
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Artist Cindy Wilson
Cindy is on the Board and one of the founding members of Butterfield Garage Art Gallery in Saint Augustine, Florida and has displayed her award-winning artwork at the gallery for many years. In early 2019, she became intrigued by the properties of indigo dye, known for the wide range of blues it produces. Indigo’s single vat dye method allows for a build up of shades thru a succession of re-immersing the cloth between waxing. The simple elegance of this technique combined with the light fast properties of indigo took over her studio for many months.
The science of creating and maintaining an indigo vat was more challenging and rewarding than expected. Converting nature into a monochromatic image forced Cindy out of her comfort zone, and hopefully these images encourage the viewer to see the familiar in a new light as well.
As Cindy says, “I chose to title the show “Midnight in the Garden of Indigo” because these batiks have an other worldly feel, a haunting stillness that is reminiscent of being outdoors in the dark. And though the images are beautiful, they only reveal an incomplete visual story. The poetry came later, upon meeting Antoinette Libro and discovering how much her words and my images worked well together. We are currently collaborating with works that evolve from exposure to each others creative spirit.”