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Written by Marc Nair and Tsen-Waye Tay

Sightlines is a series of poems mapped onto a collection of black and white images shot on film. These are notes on passing through diverse places with an unnamed female traveler, who is both photographer and protagonist. The poems are a commentary on her perspectives, allowing the reader a sideways glance at moments that are written with and against the image.

Within each paired image and poem is a small movement. First the image, then the poem, and then the image again, winding them together into a single voice for the reader. Yet there remains a looseness in the idea of ‘looking.’ The poem is just one possible place from which to view the photograph.

The journey embarked on is not through defined cities, but places that evoke a sense of being and becoming; of wide open spaces, distant faces and shifting silhouettes. Because there is a circularity to the locations, it is the journey that becomes significant, not so much the destination. Each frozen moment reveals a fleeting present, evoking a sense of familiarity. There is an immediacy of experience, but ultimately, the reader negotiates narrative against the idea of solitude.

Sightlines can be defined as multiple unimpeded lines of sight to a subject. The traveler finds kinship in a landscape that shifts from one sightline to another. The natural perspective is outwards, but the poems also reel the self inwards, allowing the viewer a sightline towards introspection.

Longing is written into each frame. There is space between the grain to imagine.