It is a rare experience to see the written word on a wall alongside artwork, particularly in contemporary art of today. Explanatory name plates in galleries have in most cases fallen away, often leaving the viewer to their own devices and means of deduction. Yet the fusion of the written and visual within Deerhart is an eloquent and captivating experience.
Diana Zwibach’s charcoal drawings brim with energy and the cascading sweeps across the pages signify the artist’s expressive mark-making. Her drawings depict abstracted figurines, combined with animal motifs which is a recurrent component of her artistic practice. Drawing on the grand murals of artists such as Goya and Picasso, Zwibach’s drawings emulate a dynamism which holds strong allusions to the studio process. Drawing on real and imagined stories as inspiration, Zwibach explores themes of migration, nature, animals, and the human condition, employing visual symbolism to convey meaning.
Situating her drawings within the framework of Yvonne Reddick’s poetry creates a fluid synthesis for the viewer to navigate. Like Zwibach’s work, Reddick’s prose draws influence from the natural world and man’s relationships to animals. Given Reddick’s research interests take environmentalism as a core approach, her poetry conjures up vivid imagery and richly descriptive outdoor settings. Allegorical and folklore-like tales scatter the walls of Summerhall’s War Memorial Library, with vinyl stories of people in wild landscapes dancing between the drawings.
A perfect equilibrium between the written and visual, Deerhart allows both the viewer’s eye and mind to travel. The stories conveyed through the dialogue that emerges between the text and the drawings transports the viewer into a mythical and mysterious realm of fantasy and abstraction. The sweeping charcoal gestures and the dense areas of scribbled darkness within the drawings create a sense of mystery and fascination, which Reddick’s poetry compliments perfectly. A calming and serene experience of visual escapism, with the room brimming with fantastical depictions.