Artwork to inspire poetry: five minute tree

five minute tree

This is an artwork to inspire poetry.  It called five minute tree.  This tree was made using computer software.  Before the tree was started, a timer was set for five minutes.  The actual artwork itself was only worked on for the duration of the timer (the program was opened before the timer, and the artwork was saved and then used for this post after the timer).

The idea here was to have an arbitrary restriction on art and see the result.  In this case, the restriction was time.  Some things came from this restriction:

  • The tree has no leaves.
  • There are some areas of the tree, like very thick branches, that would have been changed if given the time.
  • The top of the tree is not shown.
  • There is no background around the tree.
  • The tree has few details.
  • There are only two shades of brown in the tree.
  • There are no extras, like birds’ nests, in the tree.

The fact that time was restricted, led to a different artwork than if it wasn’t.  This same idea could be applied to poetry.  A poet could set a time limit (or other restriction) on the creation of a poem and see what the result is.  Like using a form for a poem, having restrictions can change the outcome.

In addition to the restriction used to create this artwork, it can also inspire poetry by itself.  Poets could write about a tree with no leaves, for example.  They could, for example, compare the idea of a tree with no leaves in winter, with the idea of a tree with no leaves in summer.  In the first case, there is a sense of hope, in the second, there might not be.

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