Preview: 19 October, 18:30
Join award-winning poet Yvonne Reddick for the opening of the Deerhart exhibition. Deerhart is an exhibition of art and poetry, the result of her collaboration with renowned Serbian-born British artist Diana Zwibach. Yvonne will discuss her collaboration with Diana, and read some of the poems that you can see displayed on the gallery walls.
Deerhart is the latest stage in the collaboration between artist Diana Zwibach and poet Yvonne Reddick. Combining drawing, painting and text, the exhibition is a voyage of discovery into wild nature and our own animal nature. Zwibach’s sweeping charcoal drawings convey her artistic dialogue with Reddick’s poetry. Poems on vinyl, read on the walls of the gallery, echo the exhibition’s themes of the fossil record, cave paintings, and the traces that will survive our civilisation in future years. Zwibach’s earthy, expressive human figures and her signature animal motifs – the leaping fish and the swooping bird – are the perfect complement to Reddick’s intense poems of meeting creatures and people in wild landscapes. Both artists also explore the themes of migration, journeying, and those who have gone before us.
Diana Zwibach obtained her MA at the Royal College of Art, London, in 1974. Since then she has worked as a professional artist, exhibiting in over twenty one-person shows and many group and collaborative exhibitions in Britain and abroad. She is a multi-faceted artist, creating prints, sculptures and mixed media work. Yet she mainly paints and draws, encapsulating mental and physical expressions and constructing forms that create their own environment, symmetry and symbols.
Yvonne Reddick won a Northern Writer’s Award for poetry in 2016, and a further prize led to the publication of her pamphlet Translating Mountains by leading independent publisher Seren. She is the recipient of further awards such as Hawthornden Foundation Fellowship. Reddick is currently being mentored by National Poetry Competition judge Pascale Petit, as part of the Jerwood/Arvon talent development scheme. She researches literature and the environment and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Central Lancashire. Reddick’s work is inspired by encounters with animals and the natural world. The lingering influence of her Swiss grandmother, and the memory of her mountaineer father, also help to shape her poems.
You pick through boxes of her oval writing
and stumble on the casket that holds her hair.
Warily, you lift the lid.
It was styled to a wavy Veronica Lake bang
when she posed with an upside-down rose –
you’d never know it bandaged the trenched scar
of thirty-six hours in a coma underworld.
It swung loose in that platinum summer of 1954
when her limbs were long and brazen
in a white bathing suit and all American smile.
After prom-dates with Yale sophomores
and days hunched over Dostoevsky
it wound by her nape, a studious light brown.
At Cambridge, leggy shots for Varsity
show a luminary smile in lipstick
and pinned-up Betty Grable curls.
Still, her hair lures your gaze
from the Lilly’s august portraits,
your half-written article on her likenesses.
The German Hausfrau style
of a tressed circlet once she’d married –
in Devon, braids were the look for a country wife,
carefully twined in the photo with the babies
on a turf mound that erupts daffodils.
She grins, but her eyes stare gravely
from her son’s face; her bun an unravelling nimbus
in 1962, when something came undone.
That winter, her hair hung lank, untressed.
How unlike the soft braid in your palm,
silky as if from a living head.
You run a fingertip along it. A jolt of static.
One strand comes unbound,
settles on the page of your notebook.