The Exhibit

34.5 x 22.5cm
Sarah Longley


Pen and ink on paper *

Provenance:  from the artist’s studio

One of a series of pen and ink drawings from Ghetto, a collaborative project with the artist’s father.  Michael Longley‘s poetry collection Ghetto is published by Andrew J Moorhouse Fine Press Poetry.

‘I see them absentmindedly pat their naked bodies / Where waistcoat and apron pockets would have been./’ – from ‘The Exhibit’ by Michael Longley


“. . . . I’ve had to be strict with myself and try to reduce the large fluid movements which I employ when working with charcoal, and hone the marks down to the bare minimum using pen and ink, whilst still being expressive.

. . . . I nervously sketched out a few images and ideas of how I could present such a complex, powerful poem. . . . I used my own photographs and bits and pieces to illustrate the first verse of ‘Ghetto’, which lists items which might be packed when you are abruptly forced to leave home: ‘Because you will suffer soon and die, your choices//Are neither right nor wrong’. I believe that we must try to picture ourselves and our families enduring such hell on earth.

Eventually this led to the book Ghetto, with [my] illustrations for each of the poem’s eight sections; also for several more Holocaust poems from previous collections, and a new poem ‘Primo’s Question’. It was a challenging task but I’m very proud of the book especially as right-wing xenophobia is simmering throughout Europe.”  – Sarah Longley (to read her full essay, click here)

*Daler Rowney Heavyweight acid free cartridge paper 220gsm