The Night Hunter

Z’roah Press, New York, 2011
Words by Nancy Campbell; sculpture, design and production by Roni Gross and Peter Schell. Edition limited to 28 copies, signed by poet and artists.
Deluxe edition (complete with carved game board and pieces, housed in cloth box) $2,500; Standard edition (housed in Cave Paper Case) $750

‘The Night Hunter’ is from a series on the changing culture of the hunters of Greenland. It is a pantoum, a form introduced to Europe from Malaysia by the French during the 18th century, originally sung. The poem considers the legacy of European colonization on the Arctic, and the conflict between oral and written cultures. The palm-leaf binding structure references the East Asian origins of the pantoum. ‘The Night Hunter’ was awarded a Norman MacCaig Centenary Prize in 2011.

Roni Gross writes: Historically in Greenland, the lack of materials like wood and metal, and even fibre for cordage, has made materials found on the shore or acquired through trade of great value. For this work, the sculptural vocabulary was chosen from primarily found material: wild harvested dogbane for cordage, driftwood for covers, scrap metal and horse bone, scavenged wood for the game board. The objects, making abstract reference to the poem, allow the reader to re-experience the poem tactilely, and also participate in the telling of the story by arranging the objects on the game board.

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