News / Poetry / Visual Arts

Over the Rainbow: Exploring the taboo of suicide through art and poetry

Sue Hubbard and Rachel Howard combine poetry and visual arts in Over the Rainbow exhibition.
Andreea Pohus reports.

The small poetry-loving cafe displays a row of poems by Sue Hubbard in fine art print

The small poetry-loving cafe displays a row of poems by Sue Hubbard in fine art print

A fragment of Over the rainbow, an exhibition which fuses poetry and art by Sue Hubbard and Rachel Howard, is currently being displayed at The Poetry Cafe.

The British duos’ full exhibition made its debut in May of this year at the Eleven Spitalfields Gallery. It featured the full collection of Howard’s emotional Suicide Paintings series, combined with poetry from Hubbard’s newly published third collection, The Forgetting and Remembering of Air.

The exhibition at The Poetry Cafe displays one of the artworks in Howard’s series, which was first put on show in 2007 at the Bohen Foundation in New York. After one of Howard’s friends took their own life, she began to examine the theme of suicide visually by studying forensic magazines and the internet. The series evolved into a visual exploration of suicide as a taboo in today’s society. Hubbard; a poet, novelist and art critic who had reviewed Howard’s art in the past, found the series to be powerful and brave. Hubbard says: “I am attracted to Rachel’s sensibility because it is authentic and unafraid to confront real emotions, as well as more spiritual elements, which are things I try to incorporate in my poetry.”

Over the rainbow: poetry made to be visually attractive

Over the rainbow: poetry made to be visually attractive

The two artists decided to merge the visual series with poems from the central part of Hubbard’s The Forgetting and Remembering of Air, creating a collaborative collection which Hubbard describes as “two bodies of separate work that create a dialogue”. The poetry accompanies Howard’s exploration of suicide by illustrating the tragic deaths of several women, including Judy Garland and Diane Arbus, whose harrowing circumstances led them to take their own lives. The exhibition at the Poetry Cafe displays Hubbard’s moving poems as fine art prints, alongside Howard’s poignantly expressive Drawing for Women in Love oil painting.

Rachel Hubbard's Drawing for Women in Love proudly sits at the end of a wall of poems by Sue Hubbard

Rachel Hubbard’s Drawing for Women in Love proudly sits at the end of a wall of poems by Sue Hubbard

The Poetry Cafe hosts various exhibitions each year, showcasing the power of literature and poetry. For this exhibition, the correlation of visual and written art provides viewers and those who frequent the Poetry Cafe with a different approach to exploring thematic aspects. Hubbard explains that: “The combination of different art forms is just a twist of the kaleidoscope and allows both viewer and artist to look at things from a slightly different perspective.”

Over the Rainbow, by Rachel Howard and Sue Hubbard
21 Oct- 30 Nov, 2013
Poetry Café (The Poetry Place)
22 Betterton Street
London WC2H 9BX

Map

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s