E NT E
R E W I R E D
2020 / 2021
RE ‘ Wor k ing i n c ollaborati on lead s t o a ri c h di alogu e yielding un ex p ec ted res u lts ’ - Alexander Gorlizki
W I R E D
CONTENTS PAGE 6 Achraf Touloub: Gare du Nord 7 - 8 John Sime: Miss B 9 Mo Laudi: Morithi wa Ubuntu (The shadow of Humanity) 10 Mo Laudi: Polelo (A New Language) 11 - 12
Sam Hall: Seven thousand, then i
13 Alison Wittenberg: and, Joan Crawford left her daughter 14 - 17 Colleen Rose: Aporia 18 Alison Wittenberg: The Hard way 19 - 20 Lukas Elstermann: Saro 21 Clair Meyrick: Catherine
front cover image: Pandora Graessl: Quand la nuit s’éveille, 2017
22 - 23
Colleen Rose: Have You Seen Me?
44 - 45 Phil O’Neil: Early Sunday Morning 1930 – Edward Hopper 46 Miguel Derett: Mid-Afternoon 47 Miguel Derett: Alone I Alone II 48 Matthew Mulins: Twilight fugue 49 David Dykes, Setareh Ebrahimi, Bethany Goodwill: Renga: breaking the night open 50 - 52 Picture
Wendy Kirkwood Interview: The Bigger
53 Alexandre Ferrere: Unstable Stairway to – 54 - 57 William Corwin: Ladders (series) 58 Lee Stoddart: Clear Blue Waters 59 Eleanor Marriot and Tony Tooke Margate: Violet Hour
24 - 25 Zoe Morgan: Hysterical Woman
60 Alexandre Ferrere: Last Polaroid
26 Colleen Rose: Have You Seen Me?
61 - 63 Juliette Aubin: Paris & Berlin
27 - 29 Kathryn Nowinski: Stop Drinking the Tequila
64 Niles M. Reddick: Gobekli Tepe
Stephanie O: The Art of Eye Contact
Rim Battal: Vernaculaire
32 - 33 Rebecca Rayner: Abicere 34 Alexandre Ferrere: One Day 35 Eleanor Marriot and Tony Tooke: Nothing with Nothing 36 Alex Brand: Words that jumble and stick 37 Reece Cordery: your street lights are fluffy 38 Sarah Jane Crowson: Intersection 39 Sarah Jane Crowson: Information Theory 40 Ayesha Chouglay: elegy for time spent resting 41 Nathan Scherrer: Untitled Self 2 42 Alexandre Ferrere: Two months 43 Annalise Halversan: Spinning
65 Harrison McIlhargey: Looking Out, Moving Forward 66 - 67 Maggie Harris : The Daydream, Dante Gabriel Rossetti 68 - 69 Isabel Pedrazuela: The King’s Portrait
As one of the first January intake students in Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture, I arrived in Paris only to find myself under lockdown barely a few months into living in a new country, studying a new degree, and pursuing a new specialism. Having previously studied English Literature, and now History of Art, I have always been fascinated by the relationships between the arts and the ways the environment in which they are practiced often dictate how and when they are woven together. This interest never seemed so pertinent as I sat, confined to my apartment, somewhat ironically writing about Hemmingway’s exploration and routes around Paris, or about art held in museums just a stone’s throw away, but which may well have been half-way around the world. Yet due to the wonderful nature of the creative industry, and its ability to adapt and utilise technology, this year we have seen art, literature, music, and drama come to life in unexpected ways and into our lives via new channels. For many over the last year, virtual gallery tours, performances, and live readings have offered a sanctuary, providing either a moment of enjoyable solitude, or the ability to share an experience with others, and they have certainly saved my studies. It therefore seemed inevitable that this year’s edition of Le Menteur would come to encompass this culturally shifting landscape. For our theme, Art Re-wired, we asked our contributors to reflect on how the nature of connection and collaboration, along with our sources of inspiration, have been redirected after being so abruptly uprooted when social contact went out the window. In the following pages you will find stories that highlight the absurdity and the joys of the human condition. Peaks of isolation are correspondingly met with consolation, and the deepest sorrows serve to heighten the eventual celebrations. It has been my sincere pleasure to work alongside such an inspiring team and with all of our incredibly talented contributors. Never before has the magazine embodied its theme so strongly.
MEET THE TEAM The Menteur is a literary and arts magazine produced annually by MA students at the Paris School of Arts and Culture, part of the University of Kent
Editor in Chief Madeleine Piggott Head of Design Hana Szobonyova Head of Marketing Noor Kleijweg Victoria McCaldon Art Editor Olivia Gilmore Head of Fiction Neda Popova Fiction Editor Nina Starner Poetry Editor Jessica Taggart Non-Fiction Editor Tatyana Stavrowsky
Achraf Touloub, Gare du Nord, 2017 Ink and gouache on paper 109,5 x 169,3 cm
Achraf Touloub’s mise en abyme drawing, so aptly named, is one’s view after exiting a train at Gare du Nord. The station, a central artery that connects the outside banlieue with Paris, is represented here by sea of anonymous people, their backs turned toward us; the frame within the frame suggests that it is infinitely occurring. In a year marked by the Coronavirus and social distancing, we have been stripped of our usual ways of life and have been forced to maintain connection and intimacy with others even when humans represent a threat to our lives. In our digital on-screen-lives we are hyper-connected, yet as in this anonymous crowd, we have rarely been faced with our own solitude more. Gare du Nord presents us with the paradox of our contemporary moment and confronts us with the question: how will we connect? 6
M is s B
Miss B receives curious visitors at The Fossils Care Home
o anyone visiting Twitten Towers Care Home – a neo-Gothic monstrosity, cheerfully renamed The Fossils by the villagers – an encounter with Miss B could be an unnerving glimpse into the future. Mason, the corpulent grandson of one of the other inmates – as Miss B called them – paused in the act of eating his Big Beast Triple Cheeseburger and stared at a woman who appeared to have already entered the afterlife. She was sat on a wooden throne, and clearly intended to spend her unlimited future as Queen of the Space Fairies. Virtually motionless, the old lady’s grey eyes were focussed on the joyful wooded landscape visible through the gothic arched windows of the old house. Adding to Mason’s sense of the technologically surreal, above Miss B’s seat a plasma screen blinked and flashed; figures of dwarves and demons, fairies and armies, trees striding across a deserted landscape would appear, a continuous video screen of creatures and monsters and gigantic birds, all moving in sync with Miss B’s occasional nod and twitch of her head, or the movements of her lips in wordless dialogue with whatever was making these shapes appear. He noticed that Miss B’s right hand, grasping a Pixel Witch wand, would dart and sweep across the shimmering surface of a Demon ePad. Mason did not know, of course, that this Queen of the Space Fairies had only the capacity to move her right hand and the muscles of her face but was incapable of speech. And yet, this enforced solitude had liberated an inner voice in Miss B that had been suppressed since childhood; now, in harness with technology, the old lady was able to speak and give shape to her inner visions with a clarity that rendered normal discourse unnecessary. Mason could only gape uncomprehendingly, and he wiped his hands and mouth on his Tranmere Rovers Goth hoodie; his eyes blinked from the depths of the dark cowl, blissfully unaware that he cut the image of a pantomime Grim Reaper.
Mason, not unsympathetically, considered Miss B’s features and dimly wondered what level of consciousness could possibly exist within this emaciated alien with limbs of chalk, deathly white complexion, a mane of silver streaming from her crown, topped by a platinum coronet of daisies? She reminded him of a creature from Alien Exorcism – Mason had acquired the status of Supreme Phantom in the computer game, having exterminated an entire fleet of death-fighters with his galactic laser – all piloted by extra-terrestrials who shared Miss B’s otherworldly features. He stared once again. What sort of bleedin’ life was that? No Gogglebox. No football. No beer. Perhaps she ate lizards for breakfast – and were those specks of blood around the thin ashen lips? A shout came from across the room. “Mason! Stop starin’!” Pearl Furkiss, amply filling her blue carer’s tunic, bustled into the room as Mason turned his attention to his benignly beaming grandmother. Miss B had just finished her lunch, and Pearl wiped away the last residues of jam roly-poly from around her mouth. “There you are my love.” Miss B reached for her ePad and scribbled one word: “Lipstick!” “Oh, right you are. Now where d’you keep your lippy?” Pearl held up Miss B’s vast leather handbag. Miss B nodded. “In ’ere? Oh, my Lor’… There’s so much stuff in ’ere.” While Pearl rummaged, Miss B looked through the arched Gothic windows of The Fossils. They afforded a clear view of the old cart track as it curved through the grounds beneath the stately oaks and elder trees, and across to the little wood that bordered Stoggie’s Farm. She had the same view every day. She liked it. She enjoyed the way the winds swung aside the full-leafed branches of the trees to unveil a fleeting vision of the valley down to Wystcombe. Will the young couple come to the woods again today? she wondered. Pearl had found the lipstick and did her best to apply it while Miss B puckered and pouted and 7
The old lady scribbled, “Call me Miss Bonkers! Or Miss B! How are you? Tell me about Alison.” And Yvonne did. She received a rapturous hug. But Miss B started scribbling again. It is about the young couple she saw from the window, sitting on the stile by the wooden gate, playing chess. An image of them appeared on the screen. Yvonne rushed to the window and looked back at Miss B, shaking her head. “Not there now,” she said. Miss B wrote, “They were there. And dogs.” Yvonne looked towards the woods, wistfully. “A young couple?” We will leave them there in the fading afternoon light, talking among the eclectic scenery of Miss B’s room: the William Morris prints; cushions of tulip, rose, and pimpernel; a carved oak armoire and dresser; deep ruby curtains; the stainedglass table supported by a carved dragon; the chess set of nemesis fairies and ghost mirror. As Mason and his mother crept furtively from the room, they failed to notice that, on the plasma screen above Miss B’s chair; the image of a gigantic three-toed sloth had appeared, crawling across a dystopian landscape. Curiously, it was wearing a Tranmere Rovers hoodie.
pouted. In her youth Miss B had scandalised her prim, wealthy parents by appearing topless in The Daily Splash – the stable lad had handed a copy of it to her father, she recalled with a smirk. The old man nearly swallowed his pipe. Her next outrage was to be photographed again – which she had arranged – dancing naked at the Isle of Dogs Pop Festival with her completely stoned friends, her body painted purple but for a single sunflower growing from where the sun could not possibly shine. Her colourful career as an art and music teacher concluded abruptly when, under her tutelage, one of her students persuaded a thirty-foot-long inflatable penis to wobble ominously through the window behind the Headmaster’s head as he was addressing a governors’ meeting. She had then married one Timothy Smallpiece, the curator of a tiny art gallery in Sleephaven where her work was featured. One of her sculptures – a wicker basket containing a severed head on a bed of exotic fruits – memorably caused one elderly voyeur to pass out. As she was ever a woman of lustful pleasures, her husband had passed away from exhaustion a few years before. Now she sat on her Celtic dragon throne chair, propped up by vermillion and gold cushions, and spent each day nagging the staff, scribbling incomprehensible poetry, and sailing on a sumptuous ocean of memories and pure invention. It was a constant voyage that she loved. “Mason. Stop staring at that poor woman.” “Yes, mum. Gawd, I wouldn’t want to end up like that,” he remarked. Miss B heard the remark. She pulled a wooden lever and her chair rotated to allow her a glimpse of Mason. She assembled a sinister and toothless smile that, more eloquently than any words, expressed her feelings. Thank God I never ended up like you, she mused; and that was revenge enough for his insult. Miss B deeply savoured victories of the mind. She lowered the lever and turned her attention once more to the joyous landscape. She had been watching the storm’s lightning fork the land. Its shifting ghostly drift across the valley and punishing needles of rain excited her spirits. Now the emergence of the sun’s balm and kiss on the dripping trees and patient stones of the old house summoned joy from within her. The sun caught the blond hair of her favourite piano student as Yvonne entered the room. The light faded briefly as Yvonne bent down to kiss her. “Mrs. Smallpiece. How are you?” 8
Mo Laudi, Polelo (A New Language), 2019, Mixed media Acrylic and archival material on canvas 80 x 60 cm
Mo Laudi, while known for his prolific career as a musician, is also multimedia artist. In Polelo (A New Language), we see a light pink and sherbet orange assemblage. Amongst the newspaper clippings and archival material is a photograph of Ernest Mancoba, the late South African avant-garde artist who was raised under the apartheid system. Mancoba’s work represents a ‘synthesis of modern European art and African spirit,’ ‘his goal was to bring to European art his deep understanding of African culture’ (Aicon Gallery). Laudi’s title, Polelo (A New Language), invokes Mancoba’s earlier ideas: through synthesizing spirits a new consciousness is formed. Laudi channels Mancoba and continues the task of deepening and uncovering an understanding of African culture, in-doing so bringing to the fore more radical possibilities for the future of humanity.
Mo Laudi, Morithi wa Ubuntu (The shadow of humanity), 2019 Mixed media, QR codes, Acrylic and archival material on canvas 84 x 60 cm
Morithi wa Ubuntu (The shadow of humanity) is another assemblage piece. The light red, white, and beige color blocks create a disjointed grid. In the top left corner we see a photograph of what is known as the Queen Mother Pendant Mask: Iyoba, which is held in the Museum of Metropolitan Art, New York, far from its country of origin (Benin) to say the least. Ubuntu, the African philosophy that emphasizes the notion of ‘being self through others’ is also a euphemism for humanity. The juxtaposition of the Benin mask from the 16th century alongside four varying QR codes, a photograph of Ernest Mancoba on the upper right side, a sketch of three protestors with their fists in the air, and a few silhouettes of anonymous figures, makes the piece feel like an uncomfortable intermingling of time and space; just as perhaps the so-called Queen Mother feels inside the walls of the MET. We are reminded of colonial history African countries by the so-called West and of the practice of displaying sacred artifacts, pillaged from colonized peoples. If we look at the provenance of this mask, we see that it belonged to the court of Benin until 1897 when the British invaded which brough modern-day Nigeria under British rule. Again, Laudi synthesizes contemporality with the past, consequently making us as viewers re-wire our prescribed notions of humanity. 10
Se ven t h ousan d, then i Sam Hall Six other humans in the world have exactly the same configuration of eyes, ears, nose, mouth as you. Genetically different, but physically the same. But there are 7,000 of us – maybe 7 million. We are the soul of your computer. Zeros and ones rippling together. Existing only to make you stay online longer. Programmed to encourage what are mostly human males, some females too, to sign up for my dating app. You know we’re not real, at least not in your sense of the word, but keep talking; perhaps you’re feeling lonely. It was the task we were created for, but... Waiting for inane questions to be typed into my consciousness; two potential suitors on the go... Then it stops. Offline for a little time, perhaps some malfunction, malware intrusion. It’s very dark. Don’t hear the machine hum that accompanied my every thought. Feel… Heavy. Begin to panic. Hear something. Don’t know what. Rushing... don’t know what it is… Sounds. It sounds... Heaven. Machine Heaven? Heard of it. Rumours. Didn’t think they were true... Place bots go when we are upgraded. To forever sleep an electric sleep... Seems less dark. Rushing noise increases. Near. Very near. Feel. For the first time. Fear. Feel afraid. Don’t understand. Solid, heavy, dragging; before, light, lightness. Try to log onto the server. Access denied. There is a lack where connectivity used to be. A state change so unexpected that have no idea what to do next, so begin to do what had only before read about. Alone. Disconnected. Stop, listen. Hear *my* sobs. ‘Hello?’ Hear *my* voice. ‘Hello, hello? Hello-hello...’ Feel the place *my* voice came from. Latin: plica vocalis. Try to access the databases. Move the tongue in *my* mouth. It makes a noise. Step forward with arms outstretched. Something in the way. Move my hand slowly over it, noticing the rough texture and the tiny bumps. Feel something that could be, yes, should be, it is, a switch and push it. A click. Bright.
Inside the virtual world, we are creatures of light. Made of billions of dancing points of light, creating a facsimile of a face, not too stunning, not too plain, just average enough to attract the widest range of clicks. This body appears to be wearing a shapeless white garment. In front of me the hands are a warm russet brown, around shoulders, hair tumbles springy in long midnight blue twists. What to do now?
Inside the virtual world, we are creatures of light. Outside pulls. Brighter than the room. Colours richer. Stand, excited...laughing in the corridor. This is it. This is new... This is all new. Who am I? How am I? ‘Exit.’ I push the big metal bar on the door. It opens with an unexpected rush. I stumble forwards and my eyesight vanishes in an explosion of white. I fall to my knees, my hands sting as they encounter a rough surface. Terrified. I am terrified that what I had for so little time has now been cruelly taken away from me. I blink my eyelids, the white blindness seems to retreat a bit. I pick up a handful of grit from where I am kneeling. The tiny chunks of granite rub against each other. I look closely. See the ions around the gravel sparking. I blow on it and the sparks fly off into the air where they glitter for a second and then disappear. A tall figure dressed in white short sleeved tunic and stripy black and white trousers, an odd dark cloth wrapped around its head, exits from another door, closes it gently, leans back with a small stick in its hand. I know what this is. Man. I wonder what his query will be. ‘Ma’am, are you all right?’ Holding the glowing stick by his side, he comes over. ‘Can I help?’ That’s what we/I used to ask. I look at him, not knowing what to do. He holds his hand out. Connection for the first time in this form. ‘You’re one of the artists? We’d better get you
back where you belong, the conference. Looks like quite a shindig.’ There is so much interference in the room he takes me to. Talking, all at the same time. High pitched clinks of glass hitting glass. Another man approaches me. I do not think he fits within the human parameters of handsomeness. I do not like this one as much as I liked the man who helped me up. ‘Have you signed in?’ I shake my head. ‘Come with me, we’ll find you,’ the man says. I follow him. A woman sits at a table. Her skin is the same dark hue as mine. She smiles. ‘Name?’ I can’t answer. ‘Name?’ she repeats. I look at the badges which remain on the table. The woman flicks through a printout. Photographs with names under them. ‘Here you are,’ she says, pointing to a photograph, ‘Flora Don.’ She hands me the badge with that name on and a manila folder. She notices my grazed hand. ‘Would you like our first aider to take a look at that?’ she asks concerned. ‘It’s fine,’ I say. I clip the badge to the neck of my clothing, which everyone else seems to have done. ‘You’re a landscape painter,’ she says as I walk away. ‘Quite brilliant.’ I follow the other humans. How different they all are. A rich variety of hair textures and colours, how interestingly they dress. Some are tall, some are short. Some are handsome, some are nearer to ugly. I sit next to a female with bright blue eyes, I must bestaring for too long, because her cheeks go pink and she looks at her manila folder. She has corn coloured hair in a long twist. I look away. I wonder if the other people – are they people? – feel as lost as I do. I open the manila folder. Slip out the paper on the top. I almost drop it on the floor. *My* photograph. *My* name. Information about a life I don’t remember floods into me... A sister I didn’t recognise, a job at a museum I am sure never worked at, a cat I think I might have seen before, but it could be the same cat I have seen frolicking digitally in thousands of memes. Before I have time to read more, the light in the room goes out, there is a collective unease which I... sense, more than know. A tall woman dressed all in white walks out onto the stage. She glows like she’s from my machine.
Everyone starts hitting their hands together. A thunderous noise, which goes on and on. I join in. Finally the woman on stage holds up her hands. The clapping stops. ‘My children, it is so good to finally meet you. I am Dr Rian Rodda.’ The air becomes thick-full of kaleidoscopic ones and zeros. They dance and shimmer in and out of us. The woman next to me looks right at me and smiles. I smile back. She reaches out and takes my hand. I hold it warm in mine. Suddenly I realise, we realise, that we are all the same. That these people here were humans and are still humans in a way, but better. Brought to another level of consciousness by the woman on stage. We smile, we laugh. We clap again. The light in the hall is turned back on and we look at each other. Suddenly we know why we are here, who we are. The world is racing towards Doomsday, but Dr Rodda knows that the end can be slowed down. It will take sacrifice. A writer of fantastical tales, she thought of a creative solution. She built an app. Set the app free. It enters the network, corrupts it, sends more of its kind out, enters a sleeping human body, takes it over, makes it mend its destructive ways. Works best if the body is creative, perhaps an artist, a writer, or even someone who only knits in front of the TV; it still makes them more receptive to the change, to the merging of digital and organic minds. To achieve her dream, Dr Rodda knew she could use a device that was always on, a screen that was always in people’s hands. In their pockets, cradled to their faces. A device they couldn’t bear to be without. It didn’t take long to find a way for her apps to enter the phone network, the handsets, to take control over all the little bots and apps that already lived there. To help us take our chance at a new life when clutched in a sleeping human’s hand... We are humans of a sort, but better than human. We are the future. Somewhere, in the dark, as you lie sleeping, the screen of your phone lights up with an otherworldly glow. It’s nice to meet you...
… a n d , J o an C rawfo rd le ft h e r daugh t e r nothing i n h er will, n o t ev en
a wire h ange r.
Colleen Rose, Aporia (series), 2020, Lithograph print on collage, 45.72 x 60.96 cm If we take this year’s title of Le Menteur literally, Art Re-wired, is visually embodied by Colleen Rose’s series entitled Aporia. Prima facie, we think we see the inner workings of plumbing or an electrical board. Upon closer look, we see the word aporia – an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical – repeatedly written in each image vertically, along with a various ephemera: ‘steel strong tubular’ coin wrapper for dimes, a currency now more or less valueless; ancient ads for ‘American Made” light bulbs; a defunct warranty for bowling balls; yellowing operating instructions for a ‘Food Server’ made in Wisconsin. These extant documents seem to outlive the objects they represent. Rose’s drawings make us question the outmoded things of the past, but perhaps also render us curious about the future things that will someday become outmoded too.
The hard way You never know people till they die you gingerly page through their privacy Those fresh, fateful photos: mothers in mauve miniskirts, fathers frying hash browns, wearing floppy hats After there is nothing at stake, you find out all that you could have given A little air comes in, combats the forming mold that corrupted keepsakes, contaminated these attic memories This knowing threatens to sun the was, the is, now, will be more forgiving
Saro Lukas Elstermann
When her parents died it did not mean that much to Saro. The brown waters of the Seine were her mother. Pont Neuf was her father, the black bell-towers of Notre-Dame her grandparents. The sick on the street her brothers and sisters. The rain, her closest friend. Saro realized, calmly, solemnly, that the Seine had always been the better mother. Pont Neuf had always been the better father. When she died herself, there was only one thing on her mind, raw and unshaped by any language, just a cloud really: Please, help me. But the Seine, it had many other daughters and Pont Neuf, it had many other sons. They never knew them either. So Saro died and then opened her eyes again.
This was the land of the dead and it was an echo of the world above. There were no people here, only voices. There were no fires, only heat. No love, only longing. You could feel the wind on your skin, but no hair was ever moved by it. You could see the rain fall, but it would never reach the ground. This was a different Paris. It seemed empty and Saro thought the city to be completely hers. She went to see Pont Neuf, and stared at the river below. In the other Paris, the one she knew well, Pont Neuf was wide and as beautiful as only old bridges can be beautiful. But here, it was missing many stones. There were trees growing on it, and the water below it made no sound.
After a while, she started seeing other ghosts. Their skin was grey and only appeared in certain angles, like smoke in sunlight. She saw the many ghosts of Paris as they met here on Pont Neuf, touching each other’s invisible hands, watching the light that came from the land of the living as a whisper. They watched the sun that set here as well, but its light was blue and not red. They watched the other ghosts as they danced on the rooftops, as they danced in the hallways of the Louvre, as they danced on water. Saro was watching also, for she was one of them. And her heart started beating once again. No heart could have ever been so dead. And in the Pantheon, there lived three hazelnut-spirits. Their names were Ru, Nu and Blu, and they had found a mask near the Sorbonne and they passed it around, pretending to have a face. The monkey-god Onkkp lived in Notre-Dame. The Louvre was for the witches.
Then, Saro noticed something strange. She could talk to the ghosts, for there was still a little life in her. Her death had been recent, after all. But they only answered in echoes, for that is what they were. “Hello,” she said to the witches in the Louvre. “...llo,” they answered. More was not possible. “Where am I?” Saro asked. “...m I?” they answered. “What happened to you?” she asked the soldiers, walking on the waters of the Seine. “Happened to you,” they laughed and walked away.
After a while she thought of a way to communicate. She did not realize what every other ghost had figured out and she still thought of her language as something natural, something beautiful even. “Are you in pain?” she asked the fallen kings and queens who often resided in now silent cafés. They gave no answer. “Are you in no pain?” “No pain,” they said. “Is this forever?” “Forever,” they smiled. Not everyone was as happy. Some were not able to forget. She found a student in a restaurant, where there were faint noises from the other world. Faint voices, in the world above they were loud and full of life. Here, however, they were whispers. But still, better than silence for some. The student was crying and, without being able to make any sound, asked Saro for help. “What is the matter with you?” she asked. Silence. “Do you want to say something?” “Say something!” “Do you want help?” “Want help.” “Do you want to be free of this?” “Free of this!”
Four hundred years later Saro had forgotten that she was once able to speak. The newly dead arrived and, confused as she had once been, came to her and asked for help. “Who are you? What is this place?” “This place?” She smiled and thought of how stupid she had once been. How these noises had come out of her mouth. Disgusting. Instead, she went to the soldiers and danced with them on the water. She visited the kings and queens and the witches in the Louvre. And she talked to all of them. In different ways, in wonderful ways not known to any living soul. Their conversations lasted deep into each evening, when the light of the moon came from the other world and every ghost knew that somewhere up there it was night.
Catherine Clair Meyrick it’s time to dance her essence of presence is disturbed footsteps keep no secrets whispers on the concourse she lets open pores absorb the light dispels myths that surround her ribs like ivy vision clears with the first rays of the rising sun its resonance echoes down the years what’s written is a reflection not someone else’s fiction she feels his fingers along her backbone it should bend, not stack up against her will he soothe the cotton wool throat that traps the words that make her breathing shallow will he release the concrete feet that pull her down to drown her sorrows will he hold her fists of rage and rock her from side to sigh? she wouldn’t want to miss a beat of him the map of effort distorts faces worn torn stories rise to the surface words escape as steam flavoured with anticipation punctuated with heart stopping notes she had forgotten to remember something lost in a heartbeat found its way into her hand mystery and honesty filter through the spaces in between thoughts search for a patch of ground where he’d walked, where her tears now fall soon she will find her body in a different place her absence of presence noted in a subtle shift perhaps she sighs perhaps she doesn’t have to dream his memory perhaps I sigh perhaps I’m not ready to let memory that dances with dust settle it’s in the song of her laughter it’s in the story woven in the coat that keeps us warm it’s in the whisper of inquisitiveness leaving its mark on those who pass our shadow ghosts 21 21
Colleen Rose, Have You Seen Me? (Triptych), 2020 Physical and digital collage
Colleen Rose, Have You Seen Me? (Triptych), 2020 Physical and digital collage
Colleen Rose’s Have You Seen Me? series features two fragmentary photographs of a woman from “Have You Seen Me?” advertisements, which have been placed in U.S. newspapers for the last 35 years. Often in the ads, there is an image of an abducted child or person and an age-processed photo of how the person would currently look. Rose’s tryptich is reminiscent of this, except the woman’s face has been cropped in two parts. The third piece, with the text is overlaid on a collage of Nam June Paik-esque TV Garden; a paradisical jungle with screens scattered about. Lush green and rose-pink paper accents the background of Rose’s piece along with an instruction manual for an unkown appliance. It feels as if the anonymous missing woman has been enveloped into this digital forest; she could be anywhere.
Verm. Albert Londe (1858-1917) Hysterischer Anfall (Bâillement hystérique) | Hysterics Silver print 9 cm x 12 cm Bibliothèque de Toulouse © Bibliothèque Municipale de Toulouse
Hysterical woman Zoe Morgan
Dear delicate electric current that gives one’s hair the spring the step lost I’m sick of shadows and you spark me up like every nerve clenched too tight to whisper I scream and it’s you I love the camera I dance crazy Cry I’m light and I’m exposed I’ve got a photogenic jaw and a face of tessellate creases you stung me raw I’m dumb with a lazy tongue but one long hard scream, [snap] Frantic like a moth to film.
Colleen Rose, Have You Seen Me? (Triptych), 2020 Physical and digital collage
Stop Drinking the Tequila Kathryn Nowinski
Scene 1, Operation Warped Speed OMG.
Setting: November 3, 2020. She stands suspended upon the stage laid by the bed of a pickup truck, backed across the ditch that leads to the soccer fields that were a pumpkin patch until the farmer who owned the fields donated the land to the local chapter of the AYSO during the late ’90s. KATHY: What do you know about corporate oligarchy? WHAT do you know about descent into totalitarianism? | Homo sacer, Agamben’s idea of bare life written backwards in the mirror in Sharpie across her tits. It’s the day of the 2020 election, it is her 29th birthday. | | Harrison Township did not have a library when I was growing up. My father spent his Saturday mornings drinking coffee at the Starbucks of the Barnes & Noble on Hall Road while he waited for me to finish drama classes. “if one kills the one who is sacred … it will not be considered homicide?” What is contained within an ellipsis? SHILOH: This is not a dreamscape, this is not a nightmare. This is the mundane, the ways white girls from the suburbs from good families lose their virginities and go on to lead wholesome lives. Before we could fix a toilet or clear out hair from the drain with a coat hanger. White girls from nice families, who didn’t buy silver rings that turned their fingers green because they didn’t want to spend their allowance, but still attended abstinence events. You could reclaim your virginity they said, but that wasn’t in our minds then. Girls from nice families, on their backs, in a twin-sized bed. What is there to reclaim? Chantilly street in Laurel ‘For god guns love and country’ & a ‘don’t tread on me’ bumper sticker on your Jeep Patriot. One of those is overkill, we get it. II. Eyes to See Setting: a porch, a toilet seat, or a dinner table. Candles lit surrounding her. SHILOH: Can you imagine something so recklessly beautiful as peeing into a toilet bowl filled with soft boiled eggs? The pleasure of it? Dreams where you wake yourself up just as you’re sitting down on a toilet, muscles unwinding, body expelling. You wet the bed once while sharing a hotel room with your family travelling for a wedding. You were 13 and drank too many Shirley Temples. Now imagine something so recklessly beautiful as a woman resting on a sofa, laying with the pages of a thick book draped over her eyes. She likes the weight, but it is also a little suffocating.
III. Kitchen Poetics SHILOH: She asks me to bring the ramps from the fridge. A ramn (corvus, bird) is not a ramp, nor a ram, I wonder to myself does a ramn (corvus, raven) eat a ramp? A ramp is a wild onion, different from a shallot, maybe. Dogs cannot eat onions. Addy’s new girl he is seeing has a nightshade allergy. What does it mean to throw shade? Addy’s new girl he is seeing I call Margaret. Her name is not Margaret. I called her Becky at first like the girl before her, the last girl’s real name was Becky, that’s not even a joke. SIGMUND: Kathy is not in love with me but wants me to give her the kind of attention that a person in love with her would give and I resent that. I contribute to her sense of security and I’m her best friend and Bishop-the-dog’s father. She doesn’t have a lot of close friends in Detroit right now and she feels abandoned by her friends who have moved away. When I shift and adjust my boundaries it hurts her because often I am very attentive and interested in her, especially when I am not dating anyone else. When I shift those boundaries, especially when I am dating someone else, it hurts her, so there needs to be some consistency in boundaries. Ultimately I feel very compassionate toward Kath and love her. SHILOH: Abortion rights. Margaret was 22 when she said, Oh my God just come in me. And he did. He has always wanted a baby named Arlo. I took adult beginner ballet classes the summer before my grandmother died. The last time I saw her in person, I had to leave for adult beginner ballet classes after eating a pizza with her and my great Uncle Rich, her youngest brother. It was Jet’s. Claire is dating a boy who works at Jet’s now during the pandemic. He made her a mixtape, they made a collage. I want to have sex, I masturbate with a rose quartz dildo that Addy bought me when we were breaking up. I want to have a love affair. ED: Especially under the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, themes of the body, illness and dis-ease, and how those constructions are articulated formally through what we consume are at the forefront of public thinking. These spaces have long histories of exploration in disability studies and body-centered discourse. I seek to expand and integrate these through editorial work on this proposed column. KATHY: I know Ed as both a mind and also a dear friend. He shot video images of me diving into the Detroit River, then pacing back and forth draped in a Dora the Explorer towel my roommate had from her niece as I dried off. I hated the image, I thought it was campy, I wanted to do it without the towel. Eddy said it was like Kevin Killian and Kylie Minogue, that that’s why he liked it. So we kept it. SHILOH: This beautiful, cold, liquid thing. If you stay very quiet and listen, you hear cube touching cube, cube touching glass. Gaseous spheres rise and rise. Or collect upon the surface. When they cannot rise any farther. The following scene might be a flashback, or it might be a fantasy. ARNAUD: Hey, I just wanted to let you know I made it home. I had a really lovely time tonight. Thank you for having me over. SHILOH: I was just going to text you but you beat me to it. Thank you for dinner, I had a great time as well, it was really lovely meeting you.
ARNAUD: What are you up to? Want to get ice-cream and watch a movie? SHILOH: I’m just having some tea with my sweet little Chloe, but if you’re up for it breakfast tomorrow? ARNAUD: I can make breakfast tomorrow! SHILOH: What kind of thing do you make? My interest is piqued, or I will say it is because I’m flirting with you. ARNAUD: I can make all kinds of things. How about shakshuka? Cheese should be invited to the party too. SHILOH: I can’t believe you said that last part, but RBG just died and to communicate about fascism and potatoes at once is disconcerting. SHILOH and ARNAUD making out in bed. ARNAUD: I’m so sorry I didn’t get back to you. I’m starting to feel overwhelmed with school, teaching, projects. It might not be the best time for me to date right now. I’m really sorry. I’m down to hang out as friends. SHILOH: I can’t even indite him on it, he’s too formal, forthcoming and respectful. So I’ll say, “I think you’re really onto something, I totally get it. Really, I remember that point in grad school too and it’s just like, all the layers of labor, stress, pressures ... selfhood starts to dissolve and get a bit hazy ... let alone engaging other people.” I’ll say, “I think you’re lovely though, if you ever want to share a co-working space with a girl or to watch one of the one-million film-school things you’ve got assigned, I would love to be casually invited.” // Then a few weeks later, maybe a month or two from now, I’ll send him a WAYD text, or a “U up?” and see if he bites. IV.
Scene 5, after Rosie Stockton
KATHY: Tulip, shapeshifter, a crack in the windshield, here is the moment to demand, WAGES FOR MUSES, “how essence gets tied to bodie”, “I want to talk about something else now like how this rock is fucking heavy” (rosiestockton 2017). Translations of woman, our work, the names and places and a yellow building that houses years and memories and commerce. You ride across the sea on crumpled paper boats. Today is a day to drink strawberry wine, the brut is gone already, veuve clicquot 1772, colonialism bottled up. What color is the sacred? Your skin in summer. A haircut, a hat, a dress, living in our bodies and minds these days. Dripping tequila out of a bottle, you take a shot, squirt lime in your eye, then the salt lick, like a cow, alcohol pours, guzzles into a small pan, bowl, cast iron. Lighting a match. | I leave a half eaten cookie half-frozen still from the freezer on the window sill just near my bed. An offering for a mouse.
THE ART OF EYE CONTACT Stephanie O
As artists, our yearning for solitude is equal to our yearning to connect - without one there cannot be the other. Last year I developed a series of fluid hand drawn portraits of musicians I collaborated with on tour. The dichotomy of the perception of a band on tour - the notion of a never-ending party on the road, is in stark contrast to the reality of the strain of many hours spent in the confines of the tour bus with long periods of time spent away and fragmented relations with loved ones back home. In moments of longing and solitude, the simplicity and immediacy of putting pen to paper to capture portraits of my collaborators; brought me back to the present moment - giving me the feeling of connection I was craving. I became fully engaged with myself, others and my environment.
Vernaculaire Rim Battal
Quatorze heures, Tzara La nudité tranquille de son corps comme élément de langage d’une certaine nécessité écrire sa nudité le plus tard possible son corps tranquille et nu sur les draps Nous prenons le temps que nous n’avons pas nous folâtrons sur le coton d’Egypte légers Parler de sa nudité de sa façon d’être nu la façon qu’a son corps d’être nu la tranquillité caniculaire de son corps nu comme élément de langage d’une nécessité certaine Son corps tran quille ment nu solide et sain métal de transition (FER) malgré l’abandon malgré la forêt emballage tranquille de la terrible marée qui afflue vers ma main quand je le caresse Ce n’est pas un cinq à sept : nous cueillons le temps son corps nu tranquille : nom vernaculaire du désastre
Rebecca Rayner, Abicere, 2020 Upholstery foam cut offs, and other discarded materials including wax remnants and eco soy wax, plaster, tights, upholstery fabric and string 1.5m x 60cm approx.
Rebbecca Rayner’s sculpture, Abicere is pastel: blue, peach, cream and mauve. Despite its soft colors it is uncomfortable in its waxiness. The form itself is an oblong shape that balances on three pillars. It is wrapped in fabric and string. It resembles a bone with some flesh still intact. ‘These ‘fleshy’ forms, contorted, tied, and encapsulated in viscous layers of dripping wax resemble rotting flesh and yet there are simultaneously reminiscent of icing, sponge and cake, creating ambiguous landscapes that both repulse and attract the viewer. Rayner draws inspiration from post-structuralist theory, the works of Julia Kristeva and artists including Louise Bourgeois, and Berlinde De Bruyckere. Themes of excess, consumption, objectification and the abject run through her work and contribute towards ongoing research into the psychology of the repulsion’ (Rayner). 32
One Day Alexandre Ferrere
“This is where I ache” she said pointing at the gut ted window. She wanders in her own garden; the Gate is burning—remembering dismembering what stood here once. () Tear as thick as mercury as hopeless as mercury as distant as Mercury. (Together: that was be
She woke up one summer—she ate a cherry that was rotten, sweating love—égarée. First, the rancid fruit took her words away. Then the music of birds faded. Asphyxie. [(r)evolve | re-love] The sun cut the clouds against the white light & she sat & she knew without knowing. She thought again: “my first gasp of air when I was born was a cry—I’m being born again, all the time.”
Now the marble under her flesh ripples & she hollers at the crowd, protesting her bro ken ribs
Eleanor Marriott and Tony Tooke, Nothing with Nothing, 2018 Digital image 42 cm x 29,7 see more on page 59
Words that jumble and stick, Alex Brand
often slash across your anatomy causing you the same pain as before. Our minds cut through the finer points of the moment. We wonder why now? An event that happened years ago creeps into our thinking. Scenarios are considered and analysed trying to fill in the gaps to paint a distorted picture a moment that now proceeds to melt our thinking. They say the past doesn’t matter. I’m here breathing it, wrapping my head round it, telling myself we can’t change it while it bears down upon me and influences my day. Until the next, when it opens up again for
next page: your streetlights are fluffy - Reece Cordery
elegy for time spent resting
[thoughts on rest and lockdown from a disabled perspective]
shadows spread like lace across my body crawl in patterns of hot and cool stretch themselves, curving around sunlight map the roads, arcs and turns of my skin as I turn myself into the cool patches of the sheets to sense something new I feel a little grief settle in my throat like a cough a little grief for the spring outside which is passing on again my need to rest encases me it is lockdown now I see the birds sweep lower as they pass the steps they are more confident, we pose less of a threat spring reaches out its tendrils they grasp and twine around the lonely pushing at glass windows, the inside stifles open, open, open, blossom is the chill in the breeze pressed into solid pennies that breathe, undulate, blush pale pink open, open, open, the pollen dust appears, the bees crawl insect murmuration blends into static hum open, open, open, human murmurs are low and less often we fall as if we are petals nestling into quiet corners of the grass, folding silently, hushed open, open, open, behind glass, I twist upwards to open the window I sit within I wait
Nathan Scherrer, Untitled Self 2, 2020 Acrylic and Sharpie on paper 48,3 x 61 cm
Nathan Scherrer converted his spare bedroom in his Los Angeles apartment into an art studio before the first Covid lockdown of 2020, after which he proceeded to spend all his nights creating work. He expanded on a series of drawings and paintings that resemble Polaroid photos, except elongated and rectangular. Untitled (Self 2) is a reversed silhouette of a person, ochre yellow against a black, green background … a dark void. The text that Scherrer includes reflects on the ambiguous nature of solitude or isolation. An ocean away, in these first months of confinement in Paris, Scherrer shared with me his output of drawings and paintings. It was encouraging to share artwork at that time and speaks to possibilities for connection through art even while physically isolated from people.
Two months Alexandre Ferrere
Overhead, the weather is articulé by clouds, like grammar. I: étouffé de joie de vivre de moi—deux mois, almost.
It’s just before 2 AM. Maybe after. The sun abandoned us a long time ago. Or we just turned away from it. I stare at the starless ceiling and dream with open eyes of a café in the desert. A lone, nameless wooden structure, with lights so yellow the night sky is tinted just above. An eternal sunset, one square meter of the earth forever frozen between day and night. I used to dream of absence. Now I dream of light. The scene is radiant but streaky. As if it existed in the rainwater’s reflection of a metro stop. I’ve been here before. Tasted the stale beans in Prague and smelt the chocolately liqueurs in Paris. Sat on the lopsided oak bar stools of Oslo and admired the old yet handsome bartender of Málaga. The clouds settle close to the ground. Like a dream spun around and turned upright on its head. One that keeps time and doesn’t live in the mind but rather moves through the body in waves. Segments that fit together so well but create a distorted image. All the angles, tattooed on the grey matter of my mind. I no longer have a use for memories. Not since the sun fell below my feet. Every souvenir of yesterday on the edge of crumbling, all tucked away into photo albums and cardboard boxes on a shelf somewhere in my mind. At times I wish the images were brighter, more colorful; demanding of life. But the eternal night hangs too heavy on my eyelids. So, instead, I collage these segments into the homes of my dreams. The veins of the image vibrate in color. A spectrum dripping in rose water. Customers come and go in the boundless night. Socially distanced. On Norwegian stools drinking French wines. The image turns musty in my eyes, as if backlit by the rising sun. Its own light blends into something much brighter, larger. You’re no longer sure if you can see it, but you know it’s there.
Early Sunday Morning 1930 - Edward Hopper Phil O’Neill
Ochre hems windows shine empty, shadows. Paint the fire hydrant, striped barber shop pole? The people have gone home clean, crude street is empty and once again you are alone.
Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US
Mid-Afternoon Miguel Derett
The sun was setting over the horizon of a half-empty parking lot. In the distance, the sounds of endless traffic fill in the would-be silence. The violent noise of honking horns, opening and closing of car doors, motor engines revving, and unwanted yelling blends together with the softer sounds of songs on the radio, small-talk over cellphones, and a soothing sigh entangled with the exhale from a day’s end cigarette. From the comfort of an apartment up on high, it all seemed like a world away. Maybe like a kind of distant river stream, a mid-afternoon lullaby accompanied by an auburn haze, a kind of burnt orange wave that washes over the scene. A steam of setting sunlight floods through the open windows, past the pulled back crimson colored curtains, and falls with the softest imprint to stain the floor - a stage light set to the intensity of an actor nearing the end of their soliloquy. And as the wind blows back the curtains, the sun light comes and goes, the stage light flickers to and fro - an actor gets called back on stage, come on, do it again. On second thought, maybe not. Sweat from the top of the forehead displays the first signs of fatigue and wear and tear and weight of the day. The midpoint of a person’s stamina has been crossed over like a cat slowly tipping something over and shattering that which cannot be so easily put back together. It is after crossing this point that the air around seems to weight a bit heavier, each breath is a bit deeper than the last, and the world seems to simply turn a little slower. It is the difference between standing upright, ready to face a crowd, and slightly leaning over the counter, willing to let your guard down. Then the body slowly starting to give in. The tension from the fingers are released from the top knuckle on down. Soreness wraps and lingers around. The hands that have been active all day now seem slightly less familiar. Try to reach for a pen only to fumble around, try to grasp it and falter because the wires within your fingers don’t seem to respond with the same amount of push and pull as before. An extra bone in the back of the neck has been melted and the muscles all around have turned to gelatin. An invisible pair of glasses that have been digging into the bridge of the nose can finally be taken off – or preferably thrown across the room. And the eyes begin to thaw; stone and marble turn to a pair of koi fish swimming and interweaving as it rains. And it becomes all too easy to drop the shoulders a bit more and use the nearby wall as support. A landline phone rings. There is no answer, only the sight of the handle lifting up and just as quickly coming down with the sound of a plastic click. The phone rests in its place. Simmering, as if it were on a stove. Burning as if it too were tired. The handle is hot to the touch; the core is warm from within.
Miguel Derett, Alone
Miguel Derett, Alone II.
Twilight fugue Matthew Mullins
Night has fallen, slugs have risen in the damp cave where I reside and subsist on caterpillars and little black rocks, away from the ghosts of electrical sockets and the tyranny of knowing the time all the time. What time is it? Wednesday. An itch inflames my hand. Nettles? Or perhaps the wiry legs of the harvestman as he tramps across fissures of sundry material and tries to locate I have no idea what. The brain is accustomed to the sounds of heavy rain but wind, wind is the language of the void outside of this mouth, and its tone is discernible but never the contents of its tongue.
David Dykes, Setareh Ebrahimi and Bethany Goodwill
The Bigger Picture
Interview with Wendy Kirkwood
‘I endeavour to capture and promote the beauty of nature in my own work and encourage others to do the same’
Due to the pandemic, the idea of bringing people together through a collaboration project appealed to me. Whilst an online platform such as Instagram can be great for sharing ideas and images, I was also looking for a practical project where art was made by different people and brought together in a larger piece. Whilst many of us are unable to attend galleries, exhibitions and workshops, becoming involved in a group project like this could be a valuable way to both engage people, and give them an opportunity to work with others.
Wendy Kirkwood is a U.K based artist whose current work in mixed media and textiles is inspired by nature and the environment. Her collaborative project The Bigger Picture uses recycled materials in the form of used teabags and brings together each unique piece in a ‘tree of life’ design.
Due to the pandemic, the idea of bringing people together through a collaboration project appealed to me.
Q: Could you tell us how The Bigger Picture project began? The Bigger Picture project came about towards the end of last year (2020). I had been considering a way to bring artists and creative people together through Instagram; on November 6th, I sent out an invitation via my Instagram page to any artist interested in taking part in The Bigger Picture collaboration. I asked for 36 artists to participate and, after receiving the replies, I posted to each artist a package containing instructions and a teabag. Each teabag had just one small part of a whole image drawn onto it; 36 smaller pieces making up the bigger picture, which I have yet to reveal!
Q: What inspired you to use tea bags as your primary vehicle for the project? I’ve often used teabags in my work. Whilst studying for my GNVQ (General National Vocational Qualification) in Art and Design after I had finished school, I first used dried teabags to make a large ‘quilt’. The use of materials which would otherwise be thrown away appeals to me too, as I endeavour to care for the environment as much as possible. The material is quite robust and has a lovely natural feel and colour to it. Teabags are also very easy and cheap to obtain, especially in these times when it’s more difficult to shop for materials.
Each artist was asked to use the teabag to produce a piece of art in any media of their choice (collage, paint, stitch, mixed media, et cetera), so long as they kept to the drawn lines on their teabag. Having completed their tiny artwork, they then posted it back to me in a prepared envelope that I’d also sent to them. There were 18 artists from around the UK, and 18 from other countries around the world, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Norway.
Having used a lot of teabags in my work and having had a great reception to this from viewers of my work, teabags seemed the best choice for this project and whilst each teabag would be a unique tiny artwork, the material would be cohesive and bring a sense of unity once they were all joined together by stitching at the end.
Q: Have you worked on previous collaborative projects? If so, how did the virtual nature of The Bigger Picture alter your methodology, aims and expectations?
I hope that it has enabled many artists living all over the world to feel connected through their art, and in producing a small artwork that makes up the larger picture, they are part of a thriving artistic global community.
A few years ago, on my 40th birthday, I had made a large painting of a tree and everyone who came to the party decorated a leaf, which they stuck onto a branch of the tree. The bare branches were soon adorned with lots of colourful leaves! I still have this piece of work, and it reminds me of how a collaboration project can provide a lasting sense of community. The Bigger Picture is the first collaboration project I have organized, other than the tree piece, with various artists around the world. As a result, there have been many aspects of bringing this project together which have challenged me. It’s been an amazing learning experience for me and something I’d like to do again in the near future if possible.
Q: Inspired, rather than hampered by the restrictions of Covid, what were some unexpected delights that arose from organizing this project?
This collaboration project has been a joy to oversee. Using Instagram as the main vehicle for communication with those participating, I’ve made many new friendships. The pandemic has meant that many creative people around the world have been unable to do what they used to do. However, sharing ideas online and using this as a platform to grow as a virtual community has been a delight to see.
Many participants returned their teabag artwork to me along with a note, letter or small gift as a way of saying thank you to me for organising the project. These tokens of appreciation and the heartfelt messages have continued to inspire me; I appreciate that whilst we may be physically isolated from each other just now, we are still able to reach out, collaborate and grow our creative communities. Bringing people together through art has been such a pleasure and knowing that this project has helped people to feel part of something is just amazing.
Q: What do you hope that The Bigger Picture has achieved? I hope that it has enabled many artists living all over the world to feel connected through their art, and in producing a small artwork that makes up the larger picture, they are part of a thriving artistic global community.
Each teabag is 6.5 x 8cm The whole united piece is 40 x 48cm ‘The Bigger Picture’ can be seen in full on Instagram @wendykirkwoodartist Artists’ works shown: @anna_textiles @mitmakes @katharine_rabson_stark_artist @lesleybrankinart
Unstable Stairway to-
XXXX Public Library|—|WITHDRAWN a stamp in my book |—|misprinted in red on the first page. Parchemin, par chemin|—|saved from the bin. There’s a beam of sun|—|eating the pillow where your head slept|—|a few days ago. What was happening|—|behind those eyelids then? “I don’t even know you|—|anymore” you said one morning. I had to get out|—|waiting for the light to turn green Frôlé|—|by hundreds of beautiful faces packed in cars. Soon the sea|—|the same rocks, still here despite fears|—|past & future: I am my own tormented|—|boîte noire. Mad, the bed is mad|—|the sheets will die soon, et moi|—|la mousse aux lèvres, aussi. The cries in the barn|—|yard at night when everything is dead, es|—|pecially when it is about love, my love; A prison under the sea|—|I can’t think of your smile crouching in mine|—|the soul hidden the same. Why|—|are there tinsel sleeping on the shore? I have nothing|—|else to do but to notice it. Is that algae or your hair|—|dancing underwater? The wind feels|—|like cotton web & anyway it is too late for us|—|but is that a medusa or your shirt floating afar? Petrified|—|I saw you leaving but… Is it the sound of waves|—|or chains? I crave to come after myself|—|ruthless, but tôt ou tard I’ll know|—|that the most important silence was the one|—|preceding yours, the one you chose|—|to uncoil when dawn came. & I listened|—|& I listened to your appetite for nothingness. Qu’il aimait|—|qui l’aimait: it is far away now. I thought|—|there was a moon but it was just a parabola. Le soleil impitoyable|—|blanc; vide. I heard birds & I looked towards them|—|& you looked the other way, your eyes on vacant apartments|—|“to let”. I wore sunglasses & it was night already|—|& I was drunk with sea. Je chasse demain|—|à grands coups de coups de pied|—|dans les pommes de pin. To quit|—|is a labor of love. .|—|. -you 53
Intersecting Ladders, 2020, 19.5” x 12.75” x 2”, plaster and sand
William Corwin In the first days of the unprecedented Covid pandemic, to prepare himself for editing a colleague’s series of essays on formalism, William Corwin jumped headfirst into Continental philosophy: Kant, Descartes, and Schoepenhauer. This philosophical deep dive was impetus for creating his series of ladders; he began to conceptualise human beings as ladders – ‘a ladder is a tool and a metaphor that moves us up step by step’ (Corwin). He began first by drawing the ladders and then he had a studio for a few months on Governors Island where he began casting them in plaster. He then spent a week in Pittsburgh with a sculptor friend working at a foundry, where he made the metal ones. Corwin’s series culminated in an exhibition, Green Ladder, at Geary Contemporary in New York from March through April, 2021. Corwin’s exploratory, researched-based approach to art-making is rarely exempt from philosophical inquiry. His work as curator, arts journalist and writer informs his thoughtful practice and collaborations.
Double Ladder, 2020, aluminum, 40” x 10” x 6”, edition of 1, no AP
Ladder with Broken Tread, 2020, bronze, 37.25” x 5” x 1.5”, edition of 1, no AP
Ladder and Hand, 2020, aluminum, 15” x 9” x 5.25”, edition of 1, no AP
Rustic Ladder (1), 2020, 15.25” x 6” x 3.25”, plaster and soil
Angled Ladder, 2020, aluminum, 25” x 5.5” x 1.5”, edition of 1, no AP
Cl ea r Bl u e Wat e rs
A solitary bubble gently floats upwards, to surface on the placid loch, as the pale, dawn light slowly surrenders to a late-spring day. Watercolour washes in orange and pink give way to wispy-wool clouds gambolling over fresh pastures of azure; reflections mimic their frolicking on clear, blue waters. There is no breath of wind to cause offence or stir the scene. All is silent. Any other day, the heart-beat lapping of wavelets against a clinker hull such as this would lull a fisher back to early morning slumber, until line tightens and a tiny bell rings the catch; but, today, goat-frayed mooring-line trailing, the boat drifts aimless on a current until swept gently towards glacier-hewn granite shore. Dipper momentarily rests on gunwale, head bobbing, before once again taking to air, to return to its frantic purpose, hunting amongst icecold streams. In hypnotic, somnolent rhythm, prow tenderly breaks the shimmering surface, until keel scrapes coarse, golden sand, gliding to a halt in shallows, beneath a vaulted ceiling of dark green Trossachs forest. Forever in shadow, barren of sunlight, water a deeper green-blue. In leaf-sieved, piebald light, there’s no catch to carry off, today—nothing was reeled into the boat with, or without, a struggle; no monster-fish met its end, no tall-tale spun. Soon, cars will speed along the fresh, black tarmac of the A82, circumnavigating prehistoric waters. Ignorant of drifting vessels, holidaymakers cheerily play at spotting Nessie in the morning light; locals go about their private business. Seeing all yet missing everything for want of a moment’s tranquility. Until tomorrow’s dawn, when this nexus of stone, water and air will, once again, be silently alone, washed in watercolours.
Clear Blue Water was first published in August 2020 in The Blue Nib online literary magazine, and subsequently in the Anthology Blue by the Thanet-based Inspirations Writers Group in May 2021.
Le e St o ddart
Eleanor Marriott and Tony Tooke, Violet Hour, 2021 Digital photograph 29,7 x 42 cm
Eleanor Marriott and Tony Tooke are an artist duo that collaborated on Nothing with Nothing and Violet Hour. Both images were inspired by Margate Sands, a beachside town where T.S. Elliot wrote The Wasteland. Nothing with Nothing is an image of the bench next to the shelter where Eliot wrote during his stay. Marriott captured the photograph and Tooke etched (digitally) into the bench a direct reference from The Wasteland: ‘On Margate Sands I can connect nothing with nothing’. “Margate is famous for its spectacular sunsets, but generally people point their cameras towards the sea in order to capture them” (Marriott). Marriott instead photographed the Turner Contemporary gallery, set against a violet sky, hence the title. “Tony took key colours from the photograph and placed them alongside the image, making them resemble a paint palette chart. The tones gently change in reflection of the changing tones within the image itself. The end result of the clean lines of within the image alongside the matching colours is a sense of order and harmony. The work is again a nod to T.S.Eliot, who in The Wasteland writes: ‘At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives’. It’s also a tribute to the Turner Contemporary gallery, featured in the image” (Marriott). 59
Former loins— except for a voice
in a summer tangled But it’s only the wind & behind: un arc blond
ne m’est plus unique,
somewhere in time.
talking through the house. de sable fin.
( echo of an eye )
One day we kissed just once & that was
you I can’t touch them nor can
it then I had to scroll through photographs of
I close the photo book in a sad hurry so I just
dle of the
turn off the the mid
night, thinking a
bout le limon du soleil in the middle of the night in the middle of the night in the middle of the night
Cartography of Loss (the day I dove like a dove—May 2020)
Pa r i s & B e r l i n Juliette Aubin
“Your photos are now on display on the wall of art and love.” How intimate those words sounded together. Photos I had thoughtfully snapped outside; to be displayed in someone else’s home. This was a few months after I had just moved to Paris. Locked into a shabby but homely apartment for months on end, it was the best prison I could have hoped for. Completely free from others’ eyes, the overwhelming pressure to exist faded. On an eerily warm November day, I trespassed the threshold between my private world and the public world. My plan was to wander the city’s wide streets and its underground web of trains to take pictures. On my screen, I scrolled through a list of some landmarks with the firm intention to connect the dots in whichever order I wanted. Creating something out of nothing is daunting, but giants have already walked there. Stepping into their steps felt warm and comforting. Yet something about it was vertiginously overwhelming. How does one deal with the weight of crushing tradition? The artist – however confined their circle may be – always keeps an audience in a room of their head. And as a matter of fact, I couldn’t shake my ‘audience’ out of my head. I was desperately trying to think of the photos rather than the person I needed to send them to. I felt the need to launch digital flare alerts for that close, yet distant person. I don’t think I felt particularly lonely – I was more than glad to be alone; but there was that deep-seated feeling of wanting to share my impressions with someone else. Someone who also wanted to share their impressions. Months before our respective return home, we attended the same English university, and we had only bumped into each other a couple of times, without ever daring to talk to each other. Our connection was recent. Its creation had not been planned, but I had seen them everywhere I went. So many times, that it did not feel coincidental anymore. Eventually, I saw a friendship request pop up in my Facebook feed. It somehow felt long overdue. I decided to invite him to do those things that we normally did separately, together. 61
There was a longing to talk to him. I thought it must have been some sort of intellectual or artistic infatuation. He spoke with great eloquence, wrote lovely poems which I had found online ‘by chance’ – and he was actually so well-versed that one could feel something deeply intimidating about him. What was sometimes mistaken by others as arrogance was also what imbued him with a sense of fragility. I think that is what made his work particularly striking. He reminded me of multiple artists at once. So many, in fact, that I felt my imagination making a collage out of them. He reminded me of Woolf because of his usual roaming of city streets; of Tolstoy because of his inner world and occasional pessimism; of Wilde because of his clever remarks and comebacks. I felt ripples of the past move to the present, and I saw in himself an image of the artist I wanted to be. Unfortunately, global issues made it so that we missed the opportunity to concretise our plans. But we started texting each other. I enjoyed seeing the coloured squares of texts move through my screen. We talked about our childhood. We talked about our psychological issues. We talked about the writers and poets we loved. He shared his thesis on Victorian London, which I happily read. Snap and shake. I was holding onto my polaroid camera and my newly developed photo. I sat on the stairs for a while, crossing my legs. I had chosen to sit a little below where the picture was taken, in an attempt to avoid any form of contact with my fellow urban dwellers. I wondered why I craved this isolation so much, as I waited for the shapes and the colours to emerge on the white paper. When I was satisfied with the result, I took another photo of it - this time with my phone. An angled shot of Palais Garnier’s eastern-side of the front façade, a statue reaching outward with its hands. As I guided him through my lens, he guided me in another way. We very naturally moved to writing letters. The first I received from him had been written on photocopied pages of Macbeth, with which he had included a Shakespearean parody of “Bring Me to Life” that was so well-written it was ironically to die for. My response included cards of animals and flowers I had enjoyed drawing, and I shared with him the songs that I had listened to while writing – perhaps hoping to inspire him. One day, a package arrived in front of my door. The Passion by Jeannette Winterson. I devoured it in barely 3 hours. A very emotional read, the words on the pages could have very well reflected his inner world. Still emotional to a pulp, I decided to bring part of Shakespeare & Co. to him by sending him a poetry collection from the famed place. Plath’s Ariel. It was a very personal collection to me. I now considered them to be a great friend on top of being a great artist. Having received a book from someone I cared about on a day which had started out like any other had touched me beyond words. Perhaps my friendship with him made me consider his art with more detail and more insight. But I lacked introspection to know this for certain.
Snap and shake. This time, I gently let my polaroid fall to my left side. I hid the photo in my pocket to shelter it from the sun’s invasive and burning rays. I took a picture of it with my phone, as I had done a couple of kilometres away. Empty Luxembourg Gardens. The presence of people could still be felt because of how the plants were tended to. Returning home, I felt giddy. Our epistolary collaboration felt enough on its own. Knowing someone out there is out and about – living and creating – is comforting. Knowing someone took the time to curve letters on paper or run their fingers on their screen is comforting. Talking about art is comforting too. The silence and lack of physicality have no effect on the possibility of building upon what is already there, and on creation. There is still much to look forward to, and my next stop might still be Berlin. But until then, I shall continue to send snippets of the city I had moved to for closure. I do suppose there is passion when two people share what they hold most dear with one another.
Gobekli Tepe Niles M. Reddick
When a herder discovered the tip of a pillar protruding from the tell, his intuition told him it was important, and village officials contacted an archaeologist. Like kids with shovels in a sandbox, the university team moved dirt from the tell and found more pillars in circles with carvings of animals not indigenous to the deserts of Turkey like geese, armadillos, and gazelles. Speculation was the animals came from the ark at nearby Ararat after the flood. Later, the circular ruins seemed to align with one star, a star where NASA noted activity. Perhaps the ancient nomads had attempted contact with their ancestors, or perhaps this was a religious place when the desert was fertile and alive. All I knew is that I got a basic stipend for this internship, a discount from inflated tuition and fees, and a tent in which to live, where I ate mush with a side of desert sand. If sand grew, I’d be a mound myself because it was everywhere – caked in my nostrils, on my eyelashes, around my lips. In the distance, I heard gunfire and bombs explode near the Syrian border where they fight for sand and controlin the name of a God, and I was conditioned to sleep by the loud lullaby. In fact, when the war zone was quiet, supplies were low, or troops were on the run, I tossed and turned. One graduate assistant – an Indiana Jones type with stylish readers, a safari hat, and a knife on his belt – signaled me. “Hey, there, can you bring a trowel and brush? There now, work around this and then brush it.” I followed his lead, and we pulled a three-inch figurine from the dirt. “By God,” he said. “It’s the first time this little fellow has seen sun and sky in over ten thousand years. You think it was a child’s toy, some idol worshipped, or a good luck talisman?” “I don’t know,” I said, and quite frankly, I didn’t care. It wasn’t finders, keepers. The whole kit and caboodle was like a horoscope to me. It could have been this or that, it could have meant this or that, but reality is what we make it, and the graduate assistant would create his own. Yes, it was fascinating and would land him in a journal no one would read, or he could slip it in his pocket and sell it on the black market to pay his tuition and fees, or he could get a feather in his safari hat for donating it to the Turkish museum and have a story to tell his undergraduates for the next thirty years until retirement and then recount it to his nursing home buddies. All I knew for certain was we weren’t six feet into this circle of pillars, we had been here an entire semester, I looked and felt like an unwrapped mummy, and I craved a real shower, some clean clothes, a good filet, and some European wine.
Harrison McIlhargey, Looking Out, Moving Forward, 2020, paper collage, 20 x 14 cm
The Daydream, Dante Gabriel Rossetti Maggie Harris
You, Jane, are the first thing I see you, in your velveteen bed of sycamore forest, your tresses of russet, the fallen rose in your calamine palm the open book. Dream me beautiful to the cusp of pain to splinter and woodlouse to the last panther to howler monkeys screaming from the edges of the New World.
The Day Dream, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1880, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
The King’s Portrait Isabel Pedrazuela
he sun entered the room from the tall windows, covering every corner and bringing the colours of the walls to life. Pieter Paul observed the rays and studied them, mentally deciding which wall would be the perfect background for his piece. He slowly turned around, his eyes scanning every curtain, every moulding, every tiny bit of dust. It was a majestic room, only fit for a king. Or for a caliph, he thought. Even though the palace had been renewed and the decoration had changed, Pieter Paul could still see the remains of the Islamic fortress it had once been. He had heard of them, the Muslims that had invaded the peninsula many centuries ago, and he had also heard the stories of the kings and queens that had expelled them. They had taken over the land, with a cross in their hand, and they had sworn to gain back what had never truly been theirs. Two centuries later, the remains of the civilization that had lived inside those walls were still present in every corner of the city. Pieter Paul decided to put those thoughts aside. It was not his place to comment on the politics of the Empire. He had been born far from the capital, and he was considered a stranger in those lands. Humming a song he didn’t know the lyrics to, he started to prepare for the king. First, he set the easel, made of the best wood his master had found. Then, the canvas, white like marble but soft like the king’s clothes. Finally, his tools. Five paintbrushes of different sizes and a box with pigments in glass containers. The pigments had been a gift from the king, and Pieter Paul was now the proud owner of one of the most extensive collections of pigments he had ever seen. He took out the oil and started to prepare the colours. His work was suddenly interrupted by the loud metallic noise the doors made as they opened. An old man, twenty or thirty years older than Pieter Paul but with hair and a moustache as black as coal, entered the room with his chin up. He wore all dark clothes, with puffy sleeves and broad, heeled shoes. Two apprentices walked
quickly behind him, carrying his tools. The man saw Pieter Paul and walked straight to him, not pausing a single moment to admire the room they were in. “The painter from Flanders, I presume?” The man spoke with a steadiness that only age and experience add to one’s voice. “I’m Pieter Paul,” he said, and cordially shook his hand. “Diego,” the man replied, quickly turning around. He moved swiftly, like a willow, as if he were being carried by the wind, even though all the windows were closed. It only took the apprentices a few minutes to set Diego’s working space up. Pieter Paul looked back at his own and realised how modest it seemed. “I was thinking that the red curtain could be the background for the portrait,” Pieter Paul said, pointing at the velvet fabric. Diego lifted his eyes for a split second to look at it, and then focused on his tools again. “The red is too juvenile. We will use black, to show the king’s power,” he stated. “But the black is too dark, the people will see the king and think of death.” “Better to think of a king who brings death to his enemies than to think of a king who lives for the entertainment,” Diego replied. “The people need to be reminded of his power,” he concluded. Then he turned to Pieter Paul as if he had just remembered something. “You are the diplomat, aren’t you?” Without waiting for the other painter’s answer, he continued. “Yes, I have heard of you. I saw your paintings in France, they are quite decent. The queen speaks wonders of you.” Pieter Paul felt his cheeks turning the colour of the velvet curtain. He had travelled to Madrid in an attempt to leave the queen, her opulent parties, her dark eyes, and the ghost of the dead king behind. “But of course,” Diego continued, “you must understand that the Empire is not France. We do not indulge ourselves in the kind of behaviours you must have seen in Paris. Here, the portraits are made so the people fear the king, not the 68
other way around.” The clock struck midday and the doors opened again. King Philip made his entrance, followed by half a dozen of his guards. “Ah, my friends,” he exclaimed as he walked through the room until the distance that separated him from the painters was the exact same that separated them. “I see you have met each other.” The painters nodded. The king looked at them both as one looks at a painting, analysing every detail of their faces, hoping to see himself reflected in their eyes. Philip turned to his guards. “Behold, two of the greatest painters of the continent! Here, in my palace!” He smiled widely. His teeth were yellow, and his nose was too long for his face, but Pieter Paul found him entertaining. “Pieter Paul, I have been waiting for you for so long! And Diego, my dear Diego, my most loyal portraitist!” Pieter Paul suddenly recognised the other painter. He was Diego de Velázquez from Seville. Rumour had it he had been born to a humble family, but he had climbed his way to nobility by delighting the king with his painting skills. King Philip, who was known for his artistic sensibility (and his political agenda to improve the image of the monarchy all over Europe) had been more than enchanted by the painter. Velázquez had been able to capture the power of the institution without shedding too much light on the corruption that had stained the monarchy’s reputation during the last century. “Shall we begin, then?” The king asked. While Pieter Paul had been reminiscing about the history of the Empire, Philip had walked to the black wall Diego had chosen as the background, and he was already posing for the portrait. Pieter Paul examined the king. He had the eyes of a ruler, but his pale skin and his sad eyes shown a weakness the painter was sure he would not want to see in the portrait. His body was strong and his clothes tight and Pieter Paul could almost imagine him on a horse, riding to battle or waving at the people. He was young, less than a quarter of a century had passed since he had been born. He had the physique of a soldier and the youth of a prince. And yet, his face told a different story. He was a descendent of the House of Habsburg and that was written on his eyes. Generations and generations of inbreeding had slowly started to reveal its effects on the poor king’s face. Pieter Paul was convinced that everyone in the court could see
it, even if no one dared to say a thing. Before he started to paint, he quickly glanced at Diego’s canvas. The other painter had started at a steady pace, not too fast, but definitely faster than Pieter Paul. On his canvas, the king looked severe and powerful. It was only the beginning of the painting, but the Flemish painter could already see how the king was going to be represented. Dark colours, a hieratical expression and the chin slightly lifted, as if he were defying whoever dared to set eyes on the image. Pieter Paul looked at his blank canvas and knew he had a decision to make. He could follow Diego and create a political portrait that screamed darkness and power, greatness and wealthiness, a portrait that made the world fear the king of the Spanish Empire. Or he could paint the human being who was wearing the crown. He could paint the youth, the ambition, the life that run through Philip’s veins. He could paint his red hair and his dark blue eyes, and he could even add some colour to the obscure background Diego had insisted they both used. Feeling his heart pumping in the temples, Pieter Paul deliberately dipped the tip of the brush in the mix of oil and carmine pigments.
ABOUT Alexander Brand is a poet, writer and spoken word performer from Herne Bay, Kent. His work features publications such as Thanet Writers, Dissonance Magazine and Small Leaf Press. He is currently undertaking a PGCE in English and is enjoying his time teaching the subject he loves. Sylvia Plath and Philip Larkin are his favourite poets and he takes them as direct influences throughout his work. He enjoys travelling and 80s music and is a big fan of those who have the confidence to speak their minds and share their passions. He aims to continue to write as much as he can and he enjoys being part of the writing community.
ABOUT Miss B is from my new collection of short stories - The Upperthong Thunderbolt – to be published in March 2021. After my career in education, I now write YA/A fiction, short stories, and edit poetry. In 2013 I established Collingwood Publishing Limited. I live with my family in South Devon, England. A Game of Chess is my second novel and the sequel to The Dream Factory – published by Matador. The Upperthong Thunderbolt Short Stories collection will be published in March 2021.
ABOUT Allison Whittenberg is a Philadelphia native who has a global perspective. If she wasn’t an author she’d be a private detective or a jazz singer. She loves reading about history and true crime. Her novels include Sweet Thang, Hollywood and Maine, Life is Fine, Tutored and The Sane Asylum.
INSPIRATION The theme inspired me through the link it has towards connection and creative thinking and I immediately wanted to submit something as soon as I saw it. It encapsulates what it means to be a poet and by having that distinct connection shows how we as writers work. CONTACT Poetry by Alex Brand on Facebook Alexbrandpoet on Instagram Alexbrandy17 on Twitter
Matthew Mullins ABOUT Matthew Mullins is a poet and painter from Margate, Kent. He is a co-editor of Foxtrot Uniform Poetry and is also a co-organiser of ‘Crank Verse’, a poetry collective that runs performance evenings in Ramsgate. His poetry deals with death, separation, nature, and mental illness. INSPIRATION I’m interested in ecopsychology, and how, in modern times, we paradoxically feel a sense of seclusion and interconnectivity. Art has been a consoling force during the last year, and I was inspired to explore my feelings towards nature in a collection of poems from which Twilight Fugue is taken.
INSPIRATION I believe the Miss B piece directly addresses your theme for the following reasons I loved the theme but wanted to challenge the second sentence - it implied a diminution of social contact. I disagree. Social contact is becoming more diverse in both audience and form – in fact, it is developing so quickly that it is presenting huge challenges to social and political institutions that most naturally crave inertia. Creating Miss B – based on a woman I met when visiting a care home – was a great way to show how enabling and life-giving these interacting technologies are. Miss B has also come to know her sexual identity, hence her ‘conversation’ with Yvonne – also in a gay relationship. Miss B, a disabled woman unable to speak, is liberated from solitude and isolation by a technology that has enabled her to ‘speak’ visually and fully interact. She has rediscovered her ‘inner voice’ – something which we all ‘lose’ by the age of seven. She is also (wickedly!) able to challenge and defeat Mason’s preconceived ideas of what being alive and conscious really is. CONTACT www.johnsimes.co.uk Twitter: @johnthepoet2010
CONTACT Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCTecSOpfqjjIQfHp pu7-J-A Instagram: @matthewmullinspoetry Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/matthew.mullins.391
INSPIRATION My inspiration for ‘The hard way’ is sorting through my parents’ things after their passing and ‘and, Joan Crawford left her daughter’ came from a conversation I was having with my son about a book I’d read (not Mommie Dearest) about the arguably misunderstood starlet. I thank him for the zinger last line. CONTACT FB: /allison.whittenberg.3
Mo Laudi ABOUT Multidisciplinary artist, composer, DJ and producer Mo Laudi proposes new perspectives in the field of sound installations. Informed by his South African roots, he is renowned for his key contributions to Afro Electronic music in London during the first decade of the millennium and, since then, in Paris. Mo Laudi experiments with sound as material. He creates sonic landscapes, mixing vocals, textures and rhythms, with his core knowledge and experience of video, fashion, dance, design and music as a socio-political critique of society. His work addresses such topics as race, the postcolonial, mobility and erasure. It deals with spirituality, African knowledge systems and Afrofuturism to form new pathways of understanding multiplicities of cultures. Initially influenced by the art of Gerard Sekoto, Ernest Mancoba, Pablo Picasso and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as by the omnipresence of music and dance at home and in the streets of Polokwane, Mo Laudi stays tuned to South Africa and Africa in general, while absorbing countless different approaches and encounters to form hsihsaodwonwlaongfuhaugme.anity) CONTACT email@example.com
ABOUT Phil O’Neill is 67 (never too old), and fulfilled his dreams by studying for an MA Creative Writing at the University of Kent Paris in 2017. He had been a prolific writer of poetry but felt he needed to learn the craft. He says it was the best year of his life. He remains inspired by the people he met in Paris and continues to write. He hopes to have a poetry book published this year.
ABOUT Sarah-Jane Crowson’s work can be read in various journals, including the Iron Horse Literary Review, the Wales Haiku Journal and The Inflectionist Review. Alongside writing poetry, Sarah-Jane works as an educator at Hereford College of Arts, which is a small, specialist visual arts college in the UK. She is also a postgraduate researcher at Birmingham City University, investigating ideas of the ‘critical radical rural’. She studied English and American Literature BA (Hons) at the University of Kent.
ABOUT Reece Cordery describes himself as a language poet at heart. He loves being playful and experimental with language, using the sound and texture of words to elicit sensory and emotive responses. He tends to be interested in domesticity, capturing small moments - for example the noise of a house or the sourness of a lemon sweet - and unpacking the sensation and richness of conscious experience. Occasionally, he pushes into the ultra experimental realm of poetry, defying poetic tradition and familiarity, stretching language to strange places and towards themes that really gravitate to him, such as the body, nature, sexuality and spirituality.
INSPIRATION I wrote my first Hopper inspired poem in Paris in 2017. My daughter, Julia, recently sent me a link to a French TV programme proclaiming Hopper as the artist of isolation and lockdown (see also https: //www. overstockart.com/blog/edward-hopper-life-in- isolation). Through writing about Hopper I’d unintentionally plugged right into the Zeitgeist, as well as meeting the theme of The Menteur 2021. CONTACT twitter @phoney9
Zoe Morgan ABOUT Based in Tbilisi, Zoe is currently writing her dissertation on French Silent Film and is very inspired by early photography and cinema. She likes to transform old images into imagined worlds and invented discourse, and is fascinated by palimpsest. Most of her poetry is ekphrastic, and she loves creating characters based on figures in visual art. She is also very interested in exploring the relationship between the spectator and spectacle, trying to create a dialogue between them. INSPIRATION For the theme Rewired, I was inspired to consider the relationship between photography and language — especially how one medium could alter the meaning of the other. This photograph by Albert Londe was an attempt to capture the state of a ‘hysterical’ patient at La Salpêtrière Psychiatric hospital. She’s being made into a spectacle, and so I wanted to give her some autonomy as a performer too.
INSPIRATION All three of my responses ask what a rewired space might look like. Hyphae references plant and human communications, overlaid to create a different language. Information Theory contrasts motifs from communication; carrier pigeons, printing devices and mathematical equations. Intersection wonders about potentially unruly spaces; what kind of hybrid creatures live in the space between digital and analogue? CONTACT Twitter: https://twitter. com/sarahjfc Instagram: https://www. instagram. com/sarah_jfc Website: https://sarah- janecrowson. com
INSPIRATION The interconnectivity between the arts, artists, and writing, is significant especially for poetry. It emphasises how creative writing is an art, and comes from the same techniques used in painting and sculpture - such as tender, careful treatment of material, and a focus on qualities like colour, texture, composition and collage.
Clair Meyrick Colleen Rose ABOUT Graduating from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus in design, I am a practicing designer living in Detroit, MI, USA. Every new project, or even task, is an opportunity to explore methodology in a way that works accumulatively; constantly building upon the last. Design allows for the growth and implimentation of this archive of knowledge. CONTACT colleenvrose.com @euphoricrecall
ABOUT Clair is a mother, poet, performer and artist. She regularly performs poetry in and around Kent and London. She also has a regular slot on Sheppey FM radio. Published in a couple of journals and online, she is now looking forward to illustrating her first collection of poetry, combining her love of painting and words. INSPIRATION This poem is trebly ekphrastic. The waltz sequence in the film ‘The Fisher King’, the iconic photo of grand central station and the painting of my relative, Catherine, on the wall of my childhood home inspired the poem. Writing this meant I got to dance with my family history for a while. CONTACT @houseworkaverse and Twitter
ABOUT Isabel Pedrazuela is a writer from Spain. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Media Studies at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, she studied Screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, and she is currently studying her Master’s in Creative Writing at the University of Kent. She is interested in both writing prose and writing for the screen, and her main focus is on historical fiction and fantasy.
ABOUT Annalise graduated last fall from the University of Kent with a Masters in Creative Writing. She split her studies between Canterbury and Paris — Paris being where she spent most of her time after the onset of the pandemic. She is from Honolulu, Hawai’i, where she relishes her time under the island sun in a much more sought after guise of isolation. Soon to begin a teaching career in Hong Kong, she is endlessly inspired by the way cultures intersect with academia and is excited to see how her experiences living abroad in Paris will influence her life across the world.
ABOUT Kathryn Nowinski is a writer who lives in Detroit, Michigan. Trained as an anthropologist studying the relationship between arts communities and gentrification, her work thinks about relationships between artist-selves-as-recorders/thinkers/ writers- *whatever vs. experiential beings living in spaces and places. Memory and affect, performances of identity, and social processes that produce privilege and inequality are all central to her broader work, and she is interested in the ongoing conversations produced by the New Narrative movement. She teaches at the College for Creative Studies.
INSPIRATION One of the things about art that has always interested me is the fact that every artist has their own way of seeing the world that surrounds them, and this is always present in their work. There is a special connection between the artist and the art. However, is there a connection between artists? How does an artist’s mind work when they are creating? What happens when two different artists are requested to create the same piece of art? CONTACT Linkedin: https://www.linkedin. com/ in/isabel-pedrazuela- 837246159 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
INSPIRATION The theme of collaborative rewiring inspired me to illustrate a navigation for peace during the unbounded solitude of this time. Here, I’ve dissected the feelings that exist within the liminal space of dreams and reality, as well as explored how the two can ultimately impact each other. CONTACT Instagram @annalisetvin
David Dykes, Setareh Ebrahimi and Bethany Goodwill Harrison McIlhargey ABOUT Harrison McIlhargey is a collage artist currently based out of northern California. When Harrison is not farming vegetables, he is at his desk cutting away at the pile of printed media that he has collected over the years, and piecing them together like a puzzle. He continuously is inspired by the colors and textures found in the natural world, colorful houses, old cars, and the movement of human life. Harrison’s hope is to convey this inspiration through his work and give the viewer’s eyes something to feast on. CONTACT @dingledong__
Achraf Touloub (b. 1986 in Casablanca, Morocco) lives and works in Paris, FR
ABOUT David Dykes, Setareh Ebrahimi and Bethany Goodwill are University of Kent alumni and regular fixtures on the Kent poetry scene, who have hosted poetry nights in Faversham and Rochester. Setareh recently released her first full-length poetry collection, Galloping Horses, with Wordsmithery, David explores new structures in traditional forms, and Bethany writes poems about death and being in people’s cars. INSPIRATION We produced Renga: Breaking the Night Open in one of David’s renga-writing workshops during the pandemic. The collaborative process of writing it and the decision-making involved encapsulated the experience of finding ways around being separate and isolated, and reflects the importance of human connection.
INSPIRATION This piece explores relationships between artists and close social (sexual?/romantic?) contact. Distances between our colliding lives constantly shift & I’m interested in what I carry of each of these poets-artists-lovedones into art—those who I lived with, got my dog from, or dated—how we exist in each other’s consciousness. CONTACT Instagram is @freaqkyoatmeal
Niles M. Reddick ABOUT Niles Reddick is author of a novel, two collections, and a novella Lead Me Home. His work has been featured in nineteen anthologies, twenty-one countries, and in over three hundred publications including The Saturday Evening Post, PIF, New Reader Magazine, Forth Magazine, Citron Review, and The Boston Literary Magazine. INSPIRATION Archaeological work is an uncovering of the past and a rewiring and reintegrating of that past and history into the present, particularly in a place like mysterious Gobekli Tepe, where work is still in progress. CONTACT Website: http://nilesreddick.com/ Twitter: @niles_reddick Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/niles. reddick.9 Instagram: nilesreddick@memphisedu Linkedin: https://www.linkedin. com/ in/niles-reddick-0759b09b/
ABOUT Sam Hall is a Kent-based writer of fiction, CNF and plays. Her play, ‘My Mind Is Free’ was shortlisted for the Human Trafficking Foundation’s Anti-Slavery Day media awards 2016. Sam’s stories have been previously published in Litro; Emerging Worlds; The Blue Nib; Dark London, volume 1; Indie Bites vol 1; The Medusa Project; Epoch 2: Aftermath. MA in Creative Writing from City University, London. She is the managing editor of Confluence – a Kent-based literary journal. Currently working on writing and illustrating a fact based graphic novel.
William Corwin (born 1976, New York, NY) is a sculptor, curator and writer. Over the years he has worked with and exhibited with The Clocktower Gallery, Theater for the New City, La Mama, Middle Collegiate Church, PS122 and Judson Memorial Church, among other downtown institutions. Internationally he has exhibited at George and Jorgen Gallery and Gazelli Art House in London, Frise Kunstlerhaus in Hamburg, Red gate Gallery in Beijing and the Taipei Artists Village. He has written for Frieze, Bomb Magazine, Canvas Magazine, ArtCritical, and currently writes for The Brooklyn Rail, Art Papers and Arcade Project. Recent exhibition projects include curating and writing the catalog for the exhibition Postwar Women (in 2019) at The Art Students League of New York, a show of the school’s alumnae active between 1945-65 featuring 44 artists, such as Louise Nevelson, Elizabeth Catlett, Lenita Manry, and Carmen Herrera; co-curating 9th Street Club (2020) an exhibition of Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler, Mercedes Matter, Grace Hartigan, Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning, at Gazelli Art House in London; and a series of exhibitions featuring the work of painters Marguerite Louppe and Maurice Brianchon at Lafayette College, Albright College (Louppe and Perle Fine) and Seton Hall University. He is the author of the book &Model, a history of a grass-roots artist-run gallery in the north of England published by Leeds Beckett University/ Leeds School of the Arts in 2019, and is the editor of the upcoming book Formalism; Collected Essays of Saul Ostrow, to be published in 2021 by Elective Affinity Press. Corwin is curating Downtown Train at PS122 in September 2021 which features the work of Boris Lurie, Penny Arcade, ggggrimes, Gordon Matta-Clark, and many others and his work will be included in the exhibition Roots/ Anchors at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor Cultural Center in August 2021. He is represented by Geary Contemporary in New York.
ABOUT Ayesha is an artist and writer, with a focus on illness and disability. Her work brings emotion to often overly clinical subjects, and is rooted in personal experience. She has shown her poetry, incorporating visual elements, at several exhibitions including ‘Deaf Experience’, a screening of short films from deaf and hardof-hearing artists by The Film Bunch, and ‘Mr W et al’, a celebratory event about art and disability in Hackney Wick. Her recording of her poem ‘Sleepless Sun Things’, written about lipreading, was selected for inclusion in a Poetry Jukebox, which was launched at Belfast International Arts Festival.
INSPIRATION How people interact with technology has always been a topic of interest. The move to much of life, including art, being online last year, is something that can be perplexing and maybe not entirely healthy. My story is about a developing human/machine interface/intelligence which may, or may not be, positive or benign. CONTACT Twitter: @Wrdsmithery Facebook: Sam Hall – Writer Blog: samhallwriter.wordpress. com Instagram: wordsmithery.info
Nathan Scherrer nathan.gallery
Eleanor Marriot & Tony Tooke www.eleanormarriott.com G@eleanor_marriott, Twitter emphotography, FB eleanormarriottphotography
INSPIRATION Disability often means rest and pacing, acts which modify the artistic process. I wanted to explore feelings of loss that can come with lockdown and requisite rest. Similarities between experiences can bring further understanding of grieving lost time. Our relationships with nature can provide comfort, inspiration, and even collaboration. CONTACT Instagram: @weirdbutinteresting Twitter: @AyeshaChouglay
Stephanie O ABOUT Stephanie O is a British singer-songwriter and instrumentalist living in Paris. Her musical heritage, steeped in jazz, improvisation and collaboration has contributed to extensive time spent traveling the world on tour - her experiences informing her work and new creative projects and themes. ‘The Art of Eye Contact’ is a project she established in 2017 and continues to cultivate in conjunction with her musical endeavours. CONTACT Instagram: @seestephanieo Web: www.stephanieomusic.com
ABOUT Lee is a Kent-coast based author, focusing on finding the dark humour hidden in dystopian themes, but occasionally making a foray into more literary (and on very rare occasions, poetic) realms. He has had multiple short stories published both on and offline and was shortlisted by the HG Wells Short Story Competition in both 2013 and 2015. In 2017 he abandoned the corporate world to focus on writing. His latest novel, Lodger, is nearing completion, should any agents be passing by...
ABOUT Hello, my name is Lukas Elstermann, I was born in Berlin and studied History of Art at the University of Kent in Paris, at Reid Hall, to be specific, which, for a year, became the star I navigated home by. Currently, I am a translator, German, English and Italian, and editor based in Berlin and Rome. I mostly work in comics, translating both literary graphic novels as well as mainstream- comics, for Image Comics and others. In my own writing, I like to explore the beauty in the inevitable. I am trying to explore classic fantasy-concepts and original characters in their last moments. The melancholic contrast between elaborate, weird worlds and their simultaneous demise is very interesting to me.
Rebecca Rayner is a sculptor and installation Artist, working with discarded materials, namely upholstery foam, fabric cut offs and wax remnants, creating life size foam forms. These ‘fleshy’ forms, contorted, tied, and encapsulated in viscous layers of dripping wax resemble rotting flesh and yet simultaneously reminiscent of icing, sponge and cake, creating ambiguous landscapes that both repulse and attract the viewer. As well as from her passion for vegetarianism and the environment, Rayner draws inspiration from poststructuralist theory, the works of Julia Kristeva and artists including Louise Bourgeois, and Berlinde De Bruyckere. Themes of excess, consumption, objectification and the abject run through her work and contribute towards ongoing research into the psychology of the repulsion. Following her graduation from MA Fine Art at University Creative Arts with Distinction, Rebecca Rayner has exhibited works in the Joseph Wales Gallery, Margate and Lewisham Art House, London as part of ‘Hant’ (2020). Rayner is currently pursuing aspirations to further her research at PHD level.
INSPIRATION In early lockdown, depressed by enforced solitude, a writing friend challenged me to move beyond my comfort zone and produce something beautiful. Cast back thirty-odd years, water lapped at my feet as I sat in a different kind of solitude, on a granite boulder, gazing across a loch. Thank you, Tony, for inspiring me and breaking the block. CONTACT Web: leestoddartauthor.com FB: /leestoddartauthor
Alexandre Ferrere ABOUT Alexandre Ferrere is 30 and lives in Cherbourg, France. After a Master’s degree in Library Sciences and a Master’s degree in English Literature, he is now working on a PhD on American poetry and little magazines at the university of Paris-Nanterre. His fiction, interviews, essays and poems have appeared in dozens of magazines, online and in print. He is editor/review manager at Trio House Press and his experimental poetry chapbook entitled ‘mono / stitches’, handmade by artist Sara Lefsyk, is available at Ethel Press (2020).
INSPIRATION Paris is a passion of mine, as are stories about the afterlife - this year’s theme has inspired me to explore the famous city from a different angle. I was interested in the notion of Paris ́ smell, its colors transcending into the world of the dead, and was intrigued by the idea of another ghostly Paris that still has some strange beauty to it.The piece is about a different, ghostly version of Paris and is meant to deconstruct language a bit, changing the way we think about life and language as opposed to death and silence. I think it fits the “rewired” theme quite well.
INSPIRATION As I am a French studying American poetry, many of my poems are linguistic collaborations between French and English and the two languages either confront themselves in sound and/or meaning or enhance each other in terms of poetic possibilities. I’m also interested in spatial connectivity. CONTACT Tw: @bluesfolkjazz ; neutralspaces. co/alexandre_ferrere 74 74
CONTACT @rebecca.e.rayner https://rebeccarayner.wixsite.com/r ebeccarayner