The Poetry Café hosts a lively programme of art exhibitions inspired by poetry and literature. Many of the exhibitions tour to other venues and have resulted in publications.

Isabel Rock’s Goblin Market  & Other Morph Magic

23 May – 31 July 2016 – NOW EXTENDED TO 31 AUGUST 2016

Goblin Market drawing by Isabel Rock.
Goblin Market drawing by Isabel Rock.

“There’s goblins in the basement, pineapples casualties on the gallery floor and shadow warriors terrorising the fruit bowl. Isabel Rock is in town.” – Alice Stokes

“Wonderful stuff. Lizzie and Laura remind me of the Beowulf manuscript at the British Library” – Julian Harrison, Curator, The British Library

“Bizarre and beautiful – my favourite exhibition here to date. I love the Broccoli Goblin!”

Christina Rossetti’s famous poem ‘Goblin Market’ is the inspiration for the latest exhibition, Isabel Rock’s exhibition of drawings, Goblin Market  & Other Morph Magic, in the Poetry Café, 23 May – 31 July. Merrily monstrous blue goblins meet joyful bird women in a riot of mis-sold broccoli and bendy balloons, eggs, feathers, pineapples and topknots.

The exhibition runs from 23 May to 31 July. Join us at the free opening event in the Poetry Café on Monday 23 May, 6.30pm – 9pm.

“I’d been drawing goblins for a while as I liked their ambiguity and the way they can morph into anything, friendly or not,” says Isabel. “Christina Rossetti’s poem is so vivid and full of live and love and desire and darkness and violence, I decided to do some drawings for it. I’m not a traditionally trained illustrator and the drawings quickly took on a story of their own – my goblins want the sisters’ golden curls to make elaborate wigs for their bald heads. I was more interested to illustrate them rather than the relationship between the sisters. Though that’s powerful, it’s very much a human relationship and my preference is with magical imaginary worlds. My drawings feature the goblins in their natural habitat – independent traders selling everything from broccoli and bendy balloons to ‘nice faces’ to cover up mean ones.

Isabel Rock studied Fine Art Printmaking at the University of Brighton and Royal College of Art, London. She won the £10,000 Fellowship in the printmaking category of The Arts Foundation prize for 2013. Her work sells internationally and is held in private collections around the world. She currently lives in Berlin.

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Opening event, The Poetry Café, 23 May