Exhibitions

The Poetry Café hosts a lively programme of art exhibitions inspired by poetry and literature. A number of our exhibitions have toured to other venues, resulted in publications or have been shortlisted for the prestigious Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. We collaborate regularly with up-and-coming artists, including students from the Illustration and Graphic Design departments of Middlesex University.

The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament: Colin Pink & Daniel Goodwin

3 – 29 June 2019

The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament is an exciting collaboration between poet and artist – a powerful combination of 21 villanelles by Colin Pink and 21 woodcuts by Daniel Goodwin, inspired by the poems. First exhibited at the Menier Gallery, Southwark, the project is now published as a book, The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, by Against the Grain.

Colin Pink has used the repetitive hypnotic quality of the villanelle form to range across urgent issues – from vast numbers of people being forced to flee their homelands and the ecological crisis, to mental health and the vagaries of love. An underlying theme throughout is the process by which we are all manipulated in ways we don’t fully comprehend; hence the metaphor of the ventriloquist dummy who is spoken through rather than speaking itself.

Daniel Goodwin responded to the poems by creating a series of drawings that captured, in a rapid pictographic form, what registered most strongly for him in the poetic imagery. He then developed these into the woodcuts and large scale paintings, shown alongside the image/text pieces in the exhibition. The woodcuts are intentionally not direct illustrations, however. The resonance set up between poem and image opens up the additional experience of the space that lies between the two.

Join us at the launch event and reading on Wednesday 5 June 2019, 7pm – 9p, at The Poetry Café, London.

Many of the artworks are for sale and are priced as shown. Copies of the collection, The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, are on sale in The Poetry Café and Daniel’s contact details are available on request.

About the exhibitors

Colin Pink writes poetry, drama and fiction. His plays have been produced in London, New York City and Berlin. He wrote the script for the film Touch, which won numerous awards at international film festivals. His poems and stories have appeared in a wide range of literary magazines. His first collection of poems, Acrobats of Sound, was published in 2016 by Poetry Salzburg. He lectures on the history of modern art, specialising in the interrelationship between the history of art and the history of ideas.

Daniel Goodwin’s work has been exhibited in London and the South East in one person and group shows. His work is abstracted from landscape, literature and music, drawing from the resonance of experiences, conversations and personal reflection. It is motivated by his reaction against what is an increasingly commodified world and gives voice to an alternative visual proposition based on positive human values and the urgent need to secure sustainability.

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