Locks of a Dunedin artist's hair
are going to help write poetry.
Artist Max Bellamy's installation Post Script will be on show
in a group exhibition, Sleight of Hand, at the Dunedin Public
Art Gallery from August 16 to November 16.
Bellamy said the work incorporated three 18th century
hygrothermographs - instruments used in museums to record
temperature and humidity on a chart - enclosed in three glass
He will control the temperature inside the cases, which will
control the marking on the charts to create words.
''In three days, it would have written a short poem.''
The poem would be created with words randomly extracted from
the day's news events by a computer, he said.
''It finds all these words and then rearranges them into a
sensible poem,'' Bellamy said.
The instruments use strands of hair - in this case Bellamy's
- to determine humidity levels, the hair lengthening or
shortening depending on the humidity of the surrounding air.
''[It is] the same principle where your hair goes frizzy in a
rain storm - it stretches and expands.''
He planned to calibrate the instruments today and begin the
writing tomorrow, so poems were half-finished when the
exhibition opened on Saturday.
The finished poems would be displayed at the gallery, he
Exhibition curator Lauren Gutsell said the exhibition
explored ''illusion and theatricality''.
Other Dunedin artists exhibiting in the show are Madeleine
Child, Graham Fletcher, Mary McFarlane, Kathryn Madill, James
Oram, Justin Spiers and Katrina Thomson.