Marlene Creates: Brickle, Nish, and Knobbly (2015)
Dimensions: 10 x 9 x 0.68 inches
Published: April 11, 2015
Publisher: Boulder Publications
Brickle, Nish, and Knobbly: A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow covers 80 terms in the Newfoundland dialect for ice and snow, with accompanying photographs and definitions of the local terms. The first part of the book is a 40-part poem based on a documentary video-poem, titled From the Ground Tier to a Sparrow Batch, Blast Hole Pond River, Winter 2012–2013, which proceeds through a winter, following the changes along the river that flows through the patch of boreal forest where the artist lives and works. The second part documents various formations of sea ice in Conception Bay in a series of still photographs identified by the local terms and their definitions. These terms are precise, practical, evocative, sonic, and lyrical.
From the back cover:
Many places know winter, but few rival Newfoundland and Labrador in the rich variety of art forms rendered in snow and ice. These are reflected in an equally rich array of terms and phrases in the local dialect—like brickle, nish, knobbly, slob, lolly, devil’s blanket, and Mother Carey is plucking her chickens.
From 2012 to 2014, Marlene Creates devoted her attention to the workings of winter. She observed and photographed the ice and snow forms near her home and composed spare, fine-tuned poems to interact with these images. As she says in her introduction, knowing the terms “helps us actually see different phenomena, instead of winter being just a cold, white blur.”
Here is winter seen through a fresh composite lens, with photography, poetry, and Creates’s ancestral vocabulary working together.