Venus Anh – the Story in Images
It’s been an epic journey, the writing of Venus Anh, and the making of the images. There are 55 “scenes” in the poem, and for each scene I’ve created (with a team) a photograph depicting the characters in authentic costumes at historic locations throughout Italy. This collection of images is called the “Cinematic Series” – they’re in 16:9 widescreen format and made to appear as if taken from a vintage movie. My inspiration for this approach is the look of still photos from the 1963 film Cleopatra. We did, by the way, use the same costume shop in Rome, Il Costume, as that used by the Cleopatra production! (More about costumes later).
In addition, I’ve created 44 other photos in a variety of formats comprising the “Profile Series”, which focus more closely on individual characters in the poem.
In future blogs I’ll talk a lot more about the writing of the story and the production of the photos, and even the stories behind the story. But I’ll keep this opening blog post brief. I know you want to see the images, so we’ll begin tomorrow with Scene I “Escape from Vietnam”. Every Tuesday in this blog I’ll discuss the following scene in the poem and share the photography.
As for the bigger picture in 2018, I plan to publish the fully illustrated book of Venus Anh – the poem and all 99 images. Separately, I will exhibit the photos in large format and show the images in slideshows to groups interested in the story. Also during the year I’ll announce some special events like poetry reading sessions, some gatherings in Rome on special dates in the Venus Anh story, and even a few poetry competitions where you’ll be invited to comment on, and even add to various parts of the poem. The epic poem of Venus Anh is a skeleton of the tale, a beginning that will be greatly expanded on in the future. It is a living story!
Hoping you enjoy the poem, the photos and the messages of Venus Anh!
‘Femina ac vir una conficientes.’