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Serendipity Began with a Toilet Paper Roll

On her blog, Rogue Embryo,  artist and poet Camille Martin features a multi-part posting on Hungarian -Canadian avante garde writer and artist, Robert Zend (1929-1985). Never heard of him, but was drawn by the final installment: “Gaskets, Thumbtacks, Toilet Paper Rolls . . and Doodles.” The reason being, I’ve have recently discovered what a perfect form toilet paper rolls provide for writing! I’ve seized the opportunity whenever finding these lovely tubes left behind in the stall to provide a bit of literary enjoyment for whomever steps in next. Of course, I couldn’t be the only one, and upon finding Martin’s article on Zend, am all the more inspired by his work in visual art: “Zend used technologies that were available to him, including typewriter and computer. He also used whatever materials were at hand, including automotive gaskets, thumbtacks, and toilet paper rolls. Zend was also a prolific doodler, drawing his casual sketches (some quite intricate) on everything from Post-It notes to cocktail napkins.” Martin goes into greater exploration in her post, including images and video (of the toilet paper roll on a turntable!). After this, I went all the way back to the beginning and started reading more about Zend; Martin’s biographical work on him spans his entire life, includes a great deal of historical context and examples with commentary of his work. Martin’s personal website provides her own poetry and artwork, which simply adds to the exploration. I’m still on this serendipitous journey and am enjoying learning more about both fabulous poets and artists.

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