New Words 2012

Review: Tractors and Pearls

Haworth Hodgkinson performs poetry from his new book in musical settings


Saturday 15 September 2012

Original listing

Syllavethy Gallery, Montgarrie [Map]

Haworth Hodgkinson

Tractor, Bastard. Two words associated with strength, the machinery that provides the muscle for farm work, and an expletive reserved for strong emotions. The strength of Haworth Hodgkinson's performance lies in his genius for combining musical sound with poetic word, and the results always seem fresh and spontaneous to my ear. With deft movements he extracts just the right kind of sound from gong, pipe or drum to seduce the listener, opening the heart and coaxing the rational mind willingly into unfamiliar and often surreal landscapes.

Haworth Hodgkinson

Collaborative work between all three artists brings them together at the Syllavethy Gallery where Heather Wilson's pictures are currently on show. As the presence of a young child may elicit child-like behaviour from a group of adults, so the beguiling child faces smiling at us from every wall echoed Haworth's innate mischievousness and the playfulness underpinning Fiona Soe Paing's animated music videos.

Haworth Hodgkinson

The music and images arising from the Paing / Alexander collaboration are hard to describe, you had to be there to know exactly, I can only say that my attention was transfixed from beginning to end by elaborate dream-like adventures in a multi-dimensional reality. Cut-out shapes, parodies of the familiar, fragments of the temporal world move across scratchy textured surfaces, cloud-like forms and whole landscapes turn on a pivot to reveal a whole new scene on the flip side. Moving objects harvested from the murky recesses of a demented dreamworld, brought to life with digital techno-trickery. The roller-coaster rails go on to infinity in defiance of any health and safety requirements suspended in free space, and the sensation of movement was so real I found myself at one point gripping the seat of my chair.

Haworth Hodgkinson

To close the show Haworth performed Callum McAllion's Voice aiming the poetic lens into the dark corners of the human psyche. A monologue play embellished with musical sounds leads the listener along a trail beginning with mundane thoughts and ending in roller coaster spirals of obsession.

What more can I say, an unforgettable evening's entertainment.

Review by Colin Edwards

Photos by Donna Murray

Promoted by

North East Writers

Supported by

Syllavethy Gallery
Malfranteaux Concepts


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