Girl in White: A reading followed by talk and discussion
Thursday December 6th 7.00-9.00pm
CHARLIE SMITH london, 336 Old St, 2nd Floor, London, EC1V 9DR
The award-winning poet, art critic and novelist, Sue Hubbard, will be reading from and talking about the background to her acclaimed novel, Girl in White, based on the life of the early German Expressionist painter, Paula Modersohn-Becker (born in 1895) and her relationship with the celebrated poet Rainer Maria Rilke. This will be followed by a question and answer session led by the painter Dominic Shepherd, whose exhibition, Jerusalem will be showing in the gallery.
Fay Weldon has said of Girl in White that it is “a literary tour de force, you are the less for not reading it”.
John Berger has called it “a haunting novel.”
The work of Paula Modersohn-Becker is not much known in this country; though as a painter she was far ahead of her time and deserves a place alongside the likes of Gwen John and Frida Kahlo. Sue Hubbard has broadly followed the events of her life in order to give colour and texture to her singular existence, as well as place her against the background of her times in Germany where, after her death, her work was denounced as degenerate by the Nazis. Her intense relationship with the poet Rilke, whom she met in the artists’ colony of Worswede on the wild north German moors, her eventual marriage to the older academic painter Otto Modersohn, and her struggle to find a balance between being a painter, wife and mother are issues that many women can still relate to today. Paula died at the age of 31, from an embolism 6 weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Mathilde. It is through the eyes of a fictional Mathilde, a young violinist who finds herself pregnant by her Jewish musician lover and forced to flee Berlin in 1933, that we learn of Paula’s story.
Please contact gallery for further information
Sue Hubbard is an award-winning poet, novelist and freelance art critic. Twice winner of the London Writers competition and a Hawthornden Fellow she has published two collections of poetry: Everything Begins with the Skin, (Enitharmon) and Ghost Station, (Salt) and a limited edition of poems illustrated by Donald Teskey: The Idea of Islands (Occasional Press, Ireland). Her first novel, Depth of Field, was published by Dewi Lewis and her acclaimed short story collection, Rothko’s Red, by Salt. The Poetry Society’s only official Public Art poet, she was responsible for London’s largest public art poem at Waterloo. Awarded two prestigious residences to Yaddo, USA, she was also the recipient of a major Arts Council Literary Award for her novel, Girl in White, published by Cinnamon Press. Her poems have been broadcast on Radio 3 and 4.