The Yellow River (2017)
In this collaborative project poet and artist explore their personal links to the landscape of County Meath where Smyth spent many summers during his childhood and adolescence, close to where Sean McSweeney also spent his first years. Over two years – 2015 and 2016 – Smyth revisited particular sites of occurrence in his and the county’s history as part of the development of this new suite of poems. McSweeney responded in a series of watercolours, drawings and other works, as well as creating new work from his own trips to his original home place in the county. The book and exhibition, The Yellow River, were first launched in the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan ( which commissioned the work) on January 28th 2017, and also at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork in September 2017.
Anyone who has followed the work of landscape painter Seán McSweeney, and poet Gerard Smyth will be startled by the outcome of this collaboration….anyone interested in the poetry of place will find a rich divagation on place as a source for poetry and painting."
Catherine Phil McCarthy, Dublin Review of Books
"Smyth’s mood of reflection and reclamation is perfectly matched by McSweeney’s accompanying paintings, with each word and brushstroke becoming an act of affinity to the bedrock of first memory."
Dermot Bolger, Sunday Business Post
"A truly memorable book of wonders... that makes art and poetry worth its weight in gold."
Professor Gerald Dawe at launch of The Yellow River in Royal Hibernian Academy