Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Linda Blincko report on the launch of Red Woman Poems

On Sunday I attended the launch of Denys Trussell’s new book, “Red Woman Poems”, two poems after paintings by Dean Buchanan, a small publication, 12 pages only, but profound.
It comprises two figurative paintings by Dean (attached above), photographed by John Miller. Unlike the ‘active, stylized landscapes paintings, muscular and charged with vivid colourings’ he is known for these 2 small studies of women, nevertheless exhibit his same ‘strength of definition.’

The two accompanying short poems are elegant, describing the conception, birth and lives of these women, who, according to Denys are quite unlike as subjects. “One is Everywoman and carries the history of the feminine. The other isolated – the psyche of a troubled singularity..” The exquisite and assured crafting of each poem appears as a definitive history, made unequivocal in its detail;

“You could not be mistaken                        Your zeitgeist is the way                              perhaps that short bloom

for a woman living                                           the painter caught                                           of urbane mind – Weimar’s Germany,

in any other time.                                            the angle of your body                                  its opened and radical theatre

                                                                                as an instant of history;                                 sheltering between two wars.” (Modernity as an Ode To a Young Woman Painted in Reds)


However, the marvel of this publication is Denys’ democratic approach to the paintings, these 2 red women. He assumes no ownership of them by virtue of interpretation. Observing our tendency as readers to absorb without question a single interpretation he exhorts us to take advantage of their ability,  ‘as strong compact images to carry many interpretations.’

It is both empowering and challenging for a reader/viewer to take on the role of interlocutor. It’s not generally something writers encourage; critique perhaps but not alternative interpretation.

The result is an engaging work, not a collaboration, but a juxtaposition of four exemplars in their own disciplines; Denys Trussell, Dean Buchanan, John Miller and John Denny of Puriri Press.

Linda Blincko
Depot Coordinator
Depot Artspace | 28 Clarence St, Devonport, 0624

(09) 963 2331 |

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