The stupidities and dishonesties involved in the invasion of Iraq (the consequences of which are still being inflicted in that Mesopotamian territory (then known as the Land between Two Rivers)
It brought me out in a rash of words-cum-graphics which I labelled livid art – a series of A4 sheets venting my anger against the Western villains of the affair. There was nothing subtle in their depictions.
From that start, and tiring from such spleen, I began work on a series of A6 pieces, combining many of my short poems written over fifty years with the Microsoft facilities of autoshapes and ready-to-hand colours, gathered under the title of poem-graphics, and when I had used up most of the writings from that supply, I came to realise I had a format for the making of birthday cards to family and friends.
The source for the graphics, as background to the poems, was not in itself original – I was no artist (and the words were anyway more important) – but the shapes were able to be manipulated, and I took to the idea that a mixture of new poetry and the challenge of limited shapes gave me a good framework for years of exploration.
In the eleven years since, I have built up a steady collection of pieces (ranging through the sizes A6, A5, and A4) that are now adding up to close on 900 quasi-artworks, capable of being dismissed for their mechanical features and computer-fed colours, yet also appreciated for their variety of designs from such a limited base, and the wide-ranging nature of theme and tone explored in the poems, even if most of them have arisen out of some form of birthday-celebration.
(I believe deeply in the importance and value of birthdays, and believe they should be treated with a seriousness – however light-hearted – suitable to their arrival!)