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Current Issue


Ekphrasis & Prosopopoeia: Mapping, Interpreting and Giving Voice


Ekphrasis – a vivid description of a scene or work of art. Mediums converge: one medium of art is related and relayed in another. 


Prosopopoeia – an abstract thing is personified, or an absent or imagined person or thing is represented as speaking. The artist, writer, singer gives voice to an animal or an inanimate object. 


In an interdisciplinary art setting, who speaks for who, what speaks to what, who borrows whose voice? How does one form describe another, how is an image or idea translated across mediums, contexts and languages?


A painting of a photograph: the painting can be seen to be a storyteller (articulating or reflecting on the photograph) as well as a story (the painting itself). This does not involve description or replication so much as establishing synergy between the two things by mapping them onto one another. A sculpture of a book cannot retell the book’s story in any meaningful way, but it could be able to convey the spirit of the book. 


Soanyway Issue 16 brings together diverse creative works that engage with or relate to these rhetorical concepts through strategies of mapping, commentary, interpretation, translating—giving voice.


To set the scene before our usual exhibition features which aim to get the ‘conversation’ of the issue started — this time documentation of a sound event in Spoleto, Italy, <open window> curated by Nyla van Ingen and Myriam Laplante, and an exhibition in London at White Conduit Projects SPLASH ! The Haiku Show curated by Paul Carey-Kent and Yuki Miyake — here’s a translated quote from Baudelaire’s poem ‘Les Phares’ which describes oeuvres of paintings as their own self-contained worlds: 


Rubens, river of oblivion, garden of idleness,
Pillow of cool flesh where one cannot love,
But where life moves and whirls without cease
Like the air in the sky and the sea in the sea;


Leonardo da Vinci, mirror dark and deep,
In which charming angels, with sweet smiles
Full of mystery, appear in the shadow
Of glaciers and pines that enclose their country;




Michelangelo, shadowy place where Herculeses are seen
Mingling with Christs, and rising straight up
Powerful phantoms, which in the twilights
Tear their shrouds with outstretched fingers;


Charles Baudelaire, ‘The Beacons’ (1-8; 13-16), 1857. Translation by Gertrude Gibbons.

Open Window
<open window> curated by Nyla van Ingen and Myriam Laplante

<open window>​ took place in Spoleto, Italy on September 9th 2023, curated by Nyla van Ingen and Myriam Laplante, with video documentation by Stefano Bonilli and with the patronage of Comune di Spoleto. The curators describe it as "a surprise encounter"; the sound works playing through individually designated 'open windows' along a route mapped out in the historic centre of Spoleto. This is the third iteration of following previous iterations in 2017 and 2021. The sound works hosted between the three-hour period were by seven artists from around the world, Tomaso Binga, Lucia Bricco, Alvin Curran, Piotr Hanzelewicz, Joël Hubaut, Miriam Montani, Juha Valkeapää.

Map of Spoleto for < open window > 2023

Sounding through seven windows, each window with one of the seven artists, the sites were not titled or captioned. The maps also did not mark the locations of any of the windows, only the route to walk. I felt I was on a pilgrimage of sorts, no doubt influenced by the location with its history of pilgrimage and traced paths of culturally significant figures.


Then, to stop and listen, upon catching a sound which interrupted the general sounds of the quotidian. In this way, the works were integrated with their surroundings; they played with and between the sounds about them, and it was left to chance when and where a passer-by might become the audience to this exchange. These sounds, caught while in movement along the path, made the site a site, a pause in the path.

The map guided listeners to the path, but not to the individual works. These were left for the listener to find, to discover incidentally, as they hear a sound which seems in some way to pronounce itself differently to the sounds of the city. The experience was one of theatre, and also created and conveyed its own sense of community. Having collected my map, I found others also taking the route, and our group grew as we encountered others at different stages of the route. Some people were more clearly 'intentional' listeners, noticeably listening out for sounds, or holding the maps in their hands. Others were more 'surprised' listeners, unaware of the event as an event.

Window: Lucia Bricco, "Intestinal concert for window on belly", 2023, 5'

Without captions, and only subtle signage referring to the route, rather than to the windows, it was something of a guessing game to identify which sound belonged to which artist. For those who did not have a map with titles and descriptions of the works written on the back, there was the chance to ask any of the groups of people listening beneath each of the windows. Several times these people then joined the group to find the other window sound sites.

This sense of community encouraged a contemplation on the idea of windows themselves, and use of them as the stage space in this event. For the period of three hours, the circuit around the historical centre of Spoleto became something of an auditorium or open gallery. The chosen windows were both literally and metaphorically 'open'. With sounds emanating from within, the potentially private space delivered into the public space, rose the question, should we be hearing from the outside, these sounds from the inside? Are these fleeting encounters, sounds coming from the other side of the window, caught in passing, are they forbidden? Should the passer-by be hearing them? In hot months, sounds from open windows heard from the streets may be a familiar experience. Some may feel less secret than others; music played through the window might appear more of a sound willingly shared with the public, for example, than a domestic argument, where raised voices announce half-stories seemingly not meant for the world outside. The use of windows as sound sites created an exchange between inside and outside worlds, and considered the nature of shared experience in a community on the day-to-day, the indirect ways in which a community communicates.


How are these fleeting sounds within their context documented? The sounds through the air fade almost immediately, but echo in their various ways in the mind of the listeners. The interplay with fading sound and silence experienced within the landscape was especially apparent in Alvin Curran's Maritime Rites echoing through the valley, where the passer-by had to really stop still and wait, between the pauses, for the smooth sound of a foghorn to grow and leave through the air. The delicate but powerful appearance and disappearance of sound, lent the mountainous forested landscape the guise of the sea, the evening sun a veil of mist, and the air a haunting of what cannot be seen. These sounds, played on repeat, inscribed themselves into the memory. I could hear Tomaso Binga's poem The Angel, read with ritual or prayer-like rhythm and tone, and staccato emphasis, echo in my mind for days after, and hear it again as I write this.

Window: Juha Valkeapää, SOS, 2023, 180"

Window: Piotr Hanzelewicz, May your wishes come true, 2023, 4'01" 

Window: Alvin Curran, Maritime Rites, 1983, 1'03"

Then there were the sound pieces which provided a marked rupture with the usual sounds of quotidian. Juha Valkeapää's SOS was a cry for help, seeming to come from a young bird, a cry between nature and humanity. The text puts it in the context of man's place in the world, "Man does not realize that the environment is not only around him but also within him." A division between the body and the world outside and around it. Lucia Bricco's "Intestinal concert for window on belly", was a familiar sound of intestinal gargling, magnified in volume to become something disturbing, perhaps asking that the listener contemplates their own relationship with inside and outside the human body. Joël Hubaut's The Beauty in Breathing was another familiar sound, of deep breathing or snoring; less of a rupture although heightened in volume, it conveyed a sense of calm. Hearing this through the open window felt a little cheeky, like watching someone sleep, while they had no knowledge of it.

Miriam Montani's Inverted Carillon played between the calm and ruptured. It used music boxes made to play their melodies in reverse, and transformed from peacefulness to more anxious tempos of distress. Piotr Hanzelewicz's May your wishes come true pursued ideas of loneliness and exchange, utilising the title of Bach's solo violin works, with its historic grammatical error that made it 'Sei Solo' ('You are Alone'), instead of 'Sei Soli' ('Six Solos'). The machine voice reading this piece disrupts the sounds of passing human conversation, and becomes something between human and machine, an interrogation of thought and feeling in a state of loneliness or missed communication; the thoughts distanced from the body by mechanised interpretation. This open window provides the chance for exchange.

Window: Joël Hubaut, The Beauty in Breathing, 1992, 5'12"

The event's sounds played between spaces dividing the inside and out, creating interruptions and ruptures to these divisions, and creating bridges and exchanges between them; between people, environment, and the various spheres of the mind, stomach, body, sleep, dreams, land, sea, nature, animal. <open window> gave voice, disrupting, uniting and moving between these spheres and frontiers.

Window: Miriam Montani, Inverted Carillon, 2014-17, 2'41"

Window: Tomaso Binga, The Angel, 1996/2023, 2'37"

Text by Gertrude Gibbons

White Conduit Projects
SPLASH ! The Haiku Show at White Conduit Projects

​SPLASH ! The Haiku Show ran from 6th October – 11th November 2023, curated by Paul Carey-Kent and Yuki Miyake. It presents visual haiku by six artists, Olivia Bax, Marisa Culatto, Abi Freckleton, Sayuri Ichida, Ariko Inaoka and Lisa Milroy, alongside poets Richard Meier, Yuzo Ono, Tamar Yoseloff and Paul Carey-Kent who wrote new haikus to complement the visual works.

White Conduit Projects

Installation view from outside White Conduit Projects Gallery, London

White Conduit Gallery asks spectators to consider the definition of written Haiku, its relationship with the visual, and the exchange in such ideas between the Japanese original and western adaptation. White Conduit argues "a simple catch-all might be [to define written Haiku]: a concentrated poem made up of three phrases, and referring to the passing of time" and quotes the traditional example of Matsuo Bashō (1644-94) 'The Old Pond':






translatable as:


An old silent pond

A frog jumps into the pond –

Splash! Silence again.


Taking this word "Splash" as its title (a word which is independently in the English translation and not directly in the Japanese original), the exhibition offers an interdisciplinary and international exploration of the spirit of haiku. Aside from the traditional definitions, what is it that makes haiku? How might other art forms convey a sense of haiku? It is difficult to put one's finger on the abstract sensations within this poetic form, and so it is easier to refer to the rules that make it, and perhaps listing some of the more common images and ideas found in haiku. The onomatopoeic word "Splash" in this English version contains connotations as both sound and image, and maintains its ambiguity as to its nature; it cannot occur without water, and another solid object of sorts, animate or inanimate, making contact with the water. The exclamation suggests an interruption, or disruption, and the stillness of the water before and after this.

White Conduit Projects

Installation view. Foreground: Abi Freckleton. Background (left to right): Olivia Bax, Lisa Milroy, Ariko Inaoka.

White Conduit Projects

Foreground: Abi Freckleton. Background: Sayuri Ichida.

The exhibition transnationally explores a translation and exchange between the form and spirit of haiku in writing and in visual art. The visual contributions, keeping the spirit of haiku, consider ideas of time, the fragmented and delicate, cycles of continuity or change, nostalgia and longing. Sensuous photographs by Sayuri Ichida’s convey desire and tranquillity and man's place in nature, and evocative prints by Ariko Inaoka also interrogate this relationship, tracking a pair of identical twins in Iceland, with careful attention to light. Reuse and reiteration is contemplated by Olivia Bax, through the use of old newspapers and paint and remade objects, and in Abi Freckleton’s ceramics that feel familiar in their material at the same time that their reassembled shapes deny recognition. Unexpected patterns are framed in the paintings of Lisa Milroy, encouraging a story to be made in my mind to connect the parts, and Marisa Culatto's photographs are titled to reflect the seasons and capture patterns formed by nature. The accompanying poems by Tamar Yoseloff, Yuzo Ono, Richard Meier and Paul Carey-Kent, respond with care and sensitivity to the individual works, at times directly recognisable in their textual quotation of the corresponding visual work, and at other times more subtly reflected in an offered sensation conveyed by the visual work. It made me think it could be nice to use such haiku responses in place of traditional captions put beside works in galleries.

Haiku Readings by Richard Meier, Yuzo Ono, Tamar Yoseloff, Paul Carey-Kent
00:00 / 04:31

Written haiku might be said to have a natural affinity with the visual. While previously discussing concrete poetry with Yuzo Ono, a member of Soanyway's advisory panel, he spoke about the different scripts of Japanese, and the possibility that there are multiple writing systems in Japanese, that the same word, can sometimes be written in different ways, such that the look is different. As with written poetry generally, its place on the page, the space around it, and use of punctuation, is significant in adding meaning and feeling to the words. A dash reaching into the space of the page, a line left unpunctuated, allowing it to face that space uninterrupted, or a break in the middle of a line, centre, off-centre; which word is stopped by punctuation, which word is allowed to face the space naked?


I asked Yuzo Ono his thoughts as a haiku poet on the relationship between the written and visual, the translational possibilities of the spirit of haiku between art forms, in relation to his collaboration in this exhibition:


In the English haiku world, there are often opportunities to be asked to "look at the pictures and write haiku in response to them.” In the world of Japanese haiku, however, this is rarely the case. In Japanese haiku, a method called 'season word (kidai)' or 'given word (kendai)' is common, and haiku poets are usually presented with these certain words and asked to write haiku that must include each that word.


In this sense, it was a new experience for me to look at the photographs of the artworks in this exhibition and compose haiku in response to them. It was a difficult task. The haiku form usually needs a certain concreteness as its starting point. That is why the system of adopting given specific words, as I mentioned above, is so powerful. This concreteness of haiku results in subtle abstractness, and this structure is the beauty of haiku. The aesthetic of haiku is this.


This occasion of the exhibition was different for me. In general, artworks, especially contemporary artworks, are often extremely abstract. Therefore, in order to create haiku in response to the works of art, I had to first accurately grasp the abstractness of the works, and then embody that abstractness into the concreteness of haiku. In other words, the order of concreteness and abstractness is reversed here. While this was very difficult to create, I feel that the resulting haiku were somewhat pure in their abstractness. In this sense, I really enjoyed the encounter of haiku and art in this exhibition.


At the same time, it made me reconsider the history of haiku. The relationship between art and haiku has been a complex one; especially the relationship between haiku and Western art. There is a famous argument for so-called 'second-class art' in the history of Japanese haiku. At a time when Japan had lost confidence in its own culture after its defeat in World War II, an eminent scholar specialising in Western literature insisted that, compared to the sublime and magnificent art of the West, something as trivial and mundane as haiku did not deserve to be called art. At best, he said, we should call it "second-class art,” and this argument greatly shook the Japanese haiku world at that time. Ironically, the psychological backlash against this argument was one of the aspects that revitalized the Japanese haiku world in the postwar period.


The influence of Western art has also been changing Japanese haiku technically. More than a hundred years ago, Shiki Masaoka, who is credited with laying the foundation for modern haiku, revolutionised haiku literature by introducing the notion of 'shasei (sketching),' a technique that is said to have been born from the influence of Western art. In the 1960s, a new movement called "avant-garde haiku" rocked the Japanese haiku world, but needless to say, the term "avant-garde" itself came from Western art. It is no exaggeration to say that since the end of the 19th century, Japanese haiku has been constantly changing its form under the influence of Western art.


This does not mean that haiku has abandoned its earlier essence. The question is how to harmonize the old aesthetic essence of haiku with Western artistic concepts and techniques to create a new form of haiku appropriate for the modern age. This has been an ongoing question of Japanese haiku for more than a hundred years.


What is interesting from this perspective is the curiosity shown by a few great Western artists in haiku. For example, John Cage has created a music piece and even artworks titled ‘haiku.’ In his own writings, he mentions:


The fire whose light illuminates the mountain and makes it pleasing, does not shine far. In the same way beautiful form suffices to brighten and throw light upon matters of lesser moment… Perhaps this will make understandable a statement made by Blythe in his book Haiku: “The highest responsibility of the artist to hide beauty.”


(John Cage, Silence, London: Marion Boyars, 2017, p.131)



For example, is John Cage’s music piece "4 Minutes 33 Seconds" a haiku-like work? Intuitively, I feel the answer is yes.


As we have seen, the relationship between haiku and art is intricate. The only thing I can say is that if beauty is something that is established in the relationship and balance between concreteness and abstractness, then the correlation between these three things is clearly something different between Western art and haiku. That is why the Japanese scholar denounced haiku as trivial and worthless compared to the sublime Western art, while some Western artists found in haiku an idea of beauty not found in Western art and paid attention to it. Perhaps these phenomena are two sides of the same coin.




The exhibition included a workshop led by Tamar Yoseloff on contemporary haiku practice, with an introductory talk by Yuzo Ono. This show encourages the viewer not only to consider their own understanding and relationship with the spirit of haiku, but also how cultures, languages and art forms can work with and through one another. 

Text by Gertrude Gibbons and Yuzo Ono

Images and recording courtesy the artists and White Conduit Projects

Stefano Calligaro
Stefano Calligaro - Poetricks
Stefano Calligaro

Installation view, GLITTERATURE, Sabot gallery, Cluj-Napoca (Ro) – Photo: YAP studio

Stefano Calligaro's work explores the transformative potential of language. His “Poetricks” (literal poetical tricks) play with verbal glitches; they are artworks and written material that challenge established social and cultural codes through visual simplicity and a precise, deliberate (mis)use of language. Included here are photographs of Calligaro's exhibition GLITTERATURE at Sabot gallery, Cluj, Romania which ran from 1st April – 31st May 2023.

Photo credit: YAP studio. Courtesy the artist.

David Berridge
David Berridge - Samuel Scott's Painted Doubt
David Berridge
Pete Clark
Pete Clark - Hunting Towers

This series of metaphoric paintings consider construction, language and how we look and see. It follows a journey Pete Clark made to Berlin to see artist friend and collaborator Georg Gartz make an exhibition of paintings in a Bauhaus inspired gallery house. Afterwards, they travelled to the lakeland and dark forest area of Stechlin, Fuerstenberg, North Germany which was part of the old DDR, East Germany, to explore the landscape and make drawings. At the edge of the forest, looming in the shadows were wooden constructions to use as hunting towers.

"In the Autumn they hunted, give chase to, pursue, stalk, course and hunt down, run down, track, trail, follow and shadow."

Maria Garton
Maria Garton - The Amddiffyniad of Y Gogarth with Brighid and Airmed
Heide Fasnacht
Heide Fasnacht - Paintings

Heide Fasnacht's paintings create images of the once and future world through manipulated digital images and paint on wood panels. Included here are works from two series, '-topias' which begin with the digital image, and 'Nature Once Removed' which begin with a scientific image of flow. The wood panels are dense with the layers of previous works, often visible beneath the topmost surface. These layers form a palimpsestic surface, and a kind of geological core sample. They are invented landscapes: an attempt to imagine future worlds.

Heide Fasnacht

The World As I Found It (from -topias series), 2021, Acrylic paint on manipulated photo mounted wood panel 

Heide Fasnacht

Retrocumulus (from Nature Once Removed series), 2023, Mixed media painting on wood 

Heide Fasnacht

Strange Angel (Blackbird) (from '-topias' series), 2023, Mixed media painting on wood panel

Heide Fasnacht

Plasmatics (from Nature Once Removed series), 2023, Mixed media painting on wood 

Tom Cardwell
Tom Cardwell - Urban Atlas Helsinki 

Urban Atlas Helsinki is a year-long research project combining painting practice and ethnographic research. The project focuses on the electrical distribution cabinets that are a regular feature of the streets of Helsinki. The surfaces of these boxes are often decorated with stickers, graffiti, event posters and artworks which compete for attention and offer clues to a plurality of discourses.


A series of detailed paintings and prints explore these sites using the visual language of still life traditions, with particular reference to the ‘quodlibet’ paintings of the Dutch golden age.

Tom Cardwell

Versailles, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 140 x 100 cm

Tom Cardwell

The process of making these paintings functions as a kind of ‘slow looking’, enabling a different type of understanding to that engendered by the casual glance or photograph. The works faithfully reproduce the details of the source material, including rips, tape, overlaid imagery and graffiti. The electrical distribution cabinets function as a type of urban message board, with multiple contributors adding content in the form of posters, stickers, slogans or artworks. The resulting compositions can seem haphazard or confused, but to the individuals and communities that create or read them, they carry important meanings.


The paintings themselves are the product of many decisions pertaining to composition, contrast, colour and the combination of elements. The choices for modifying the original elements are potentially infinite. The process of translating the digital image into a painted version necessitates careful thinking about application of paint and style of rendering. This might include choices about whether to transcribe a source image in detail and at original scale, or whether to simplify it or render it in a gestural or ‘painterly’ way. Building up layers of paint allows for changes in colour and tone. In some cases, translucent glazes are used to give sheen and colour tint to the underlying paint.


All of these alterations are characterised by the shift from digital to analogue processes that painting involves. The marks of the hand-made gesture offer a contrast to the slickness or flatness of the digital image, whether printed or viewed on-screen. The organic nature of these renderings means that the paintings themselves offer something wholly different to the lens-based image. The act of creative translation from source to final artwork involves not just translation but also transformation. Through the creative process the original sources are taken into a new thought-space: the space of painting. The painting space is one that is outside time in an immediate sense, where images can be deployed in many ways at once.


In the resulting works, the subject matters of urban cultures are brought into the painting tradition of still life and involved in its ongoing discourse. Still life painting has long been a memorial for the everyday, the transitory and the mundane.


Urban Atlas Helsinki makes connections between the visual nature of the electrical distribution cabinets and the Mnemosyne Atlas made by art historian Aby Warburg in the 1920s. The Atlas was an installation of panels populated with images of artworks, antiquities, advertisements and other images arranged in thematic groups. By displaying these images in groups, and juxtaposing the panels together, the viewer is prompted to consider associations not just between images on the same panel, but also between one panel and another.

Are You Entertained, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 120 cm

Warburg’s work shows how collections of images grouped together can create new meanings and narratives that revive associations of past images. In the examples from the streets of Helsinki, diverse pictures, texts and symbols are combined in ways that may seem unrelated or confused. Closer inspection, however, can reveal patterns of meaning. For example, through the quotation or appropriation of images from art history, or the use of well-known logos or typefaces inflected with subversive meanings.


In Helsinki’s urban message boards, images are reproduced, remixed, and appropriated, in seemingly unplanned combinations. Posters promote contemporary events, or document loyalties and opinions. The informal nature of these spaces gives a platform for expression that is unofficial, outside of commercialised advertising. Thus, these sites offer a challenge to corporatized hierarchies of public advertising space, and to entrenched ideas of what is valuable in visual culture. Whilst the content of contributions is primarily contemporary, in some cases images or texts contain references to cultures of the past, either directly or indirectly.


Through the processes of looking and painting examples of these visual collections, new perspectives bear witness to their significance. The painting space elevates the apparently mundane, holding it up for contemplation within the long tradition of the still life genre. These groups of diverse messages collected in the urban landscape contain glimpses of life today and echoes of their histories.

Tom Cardwell

Be One, 2023, oil and acrylic on canvas, 150 x 100 cm

Tom Cardwell

No to War, 2022, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 50 cm

David Osbaldesdon
David Osbaldeston - Imposters #1-6

Mounted in frames, integral to the work, this series considers the objectness of paintings as collage.

Imposters #1-6, 2023, oil on paper with collage, 225 x 315mm

Maria Chevska
Maria Chevska - Time of Trying out Words and Words to Hares
Maria Chevska

Time of Trying out Words (2021) (above) is part of a larger sequence of canvases placed along the gallery wall.


Although abstract in form, discernible images within the paintings can read as visual narrative – maps (or, possibly, sentences) for others to receive. Chevska states that "each canvas has a close-to focus on sounds or the exchange of words, breath, body, an affective space between images – the whole with an emphasis specifically on hybrid ears; the transmitters between outside to inside – fragile conductors for our collective connectivity."

Maria Chevska

Words to Hares (2022)

Nick Norton
Nick Norton - Avoiding the pig’s invite to private chambers
Nick Norton

Avoiding the pig’s invite to private chambers

(of INQUIRE & FABLE in querulous mood)




Scene: as you imagine it. Table in disarray, a pile of muck seen through a window.


We shall, shall we not, have need to comport thus toward my chambers?


Good Sire?


Pray do quiz me oft. Quiz me of my literary intent.


Oh, your literary intent. Very well Sire, please do tell.


Sincerely, I hope to avoid all dissemblance.


Honourably so,


Indeed, in such privacy as we will speak, so shall it be found that there is no requirement to constantly evoke the labours of formality.


By my understanding Sire, dim as I may be; surely, we can in this instance have no requirement for dissemblance as there will be but meagre imposition of formality in facing one to another, in such and such a manner, and having no crowds to press against us?


Your reputation for Truth discerned is amply justified, …yet, …


And yet?


In all honour, I do perceive that polite strictures might fearfully curb our opportunity to unburden our embodied fullness.


Sire, might not such embodied fullness be construed as reasonable and proper; a true good manner of encouraging polite labour in any appropriate setting? For our true upright frame has oft seen such politeness as a happy means of guiding all bodies to circulate with means and methods; of being, artfully, without mishap. And therefore perhaps, good Sire, with practice that is amply encouraged by all virtuous mothers, tales we have, as it were, ourselves supped of as since being the merest of infants. And manners, in like manner, we have learnt well from the caring shadow of The Father. Do we not discover therefore that this embodied state shall not be toilsome, unless perchance lifting a fork may be deemed burdensome and an effort best left aside for the ease of the trough.


As you so delightfully emphasise, the means and methods of artful comportment, bearing in togetherness, do encourage a certain posture wherein there is ease of perception. Do please be assured nonetheless that my literary and most literal intent, in manner, prefers trough to cutlery.


At the table one may see one’s neighbour.


Whilst at the trough one takes note of the thief.


Or of naught but the food.


Naturally, sight of one’s food is most welcome. Of course, to be at table one must be invited to the table. After due welcome, full sight of one’s compatriots duly appreciated, might yet it be most terrible to take note of one’s empty platter?


As you say, good Sire, as you say.




Scene: Projected on the Curtain.


Frame and refrain.

If we are a performance, then performing can be considered an editorial tool. As gesture we allow and disallow ourselves.

At a sentence level there is omission. The line of words become a framing device. A choice concerning the nature of what was not chosen.

Absences and frames: gestures practiced over varying scales allow access. Archives and invention are entered by a fool, stage left. Never work with animals, stage right.

Material gaps may be turned towards a potential sentence. We write “access” and “invention” and “archive, and you get what you imagine.

Where beauty is hidden.

The garden is a discursive space. These groves given, outside of the city.

We stroll as a performance of thought and, in pacing amongst sun and shadow, around trees, along the paved lines and over the grassy mounds, so do our steps act upon the thinking. A slight movement can be translated into literature; calligraphy walked across the potent void. Each mark is a wondrous bloom, the garden rendering up unending promise.

The gardener follows thought with pitchfork and a trolley mounted composter.

The FABLE and the INQUIRE.

It is lost as it is, our refrain. Yet it was always encountered only as it could be, the frame… From the garden to the midden, via the table and our private chambers, accompany us. Your gaze is that which rolls.


Curtains rise.


The End.

Sofia Ricciardi
Sofia Ricciardi - "If you understand the meaning of existence and art write me in private!"

Sofia Ricciardi's work explores a continuous construction and deconstruction of a world made of fragments. These fragments point towards something else, suggesting the impossibility of a single vision of reality. They consider the elusive nature of truth, of language as it vanishes as soon as it is spoken. Ricciardi's collages originate from tearing fragments of contemporary art magazines. They are modular drawings which remain incomplete. 

Sofia Ricciardi
Simon Woolham
Simon Woolham - The Frog
Simon Woolham

The Frog –//_

Roam #1. An introduction into the marketplace


It was not as if The human was dissatisfied with their life, they were relatively happy, despite the fact that there had been many sacrifices. Yet there was a deep desire, sometimes consuming, to help others who felt trapped and overwhelmed, though they probably would not admit it, by the weight of expectation. The Human had been introduced to frogs by a friend who was obsessed by them, by their abilities to transform, adapt and survive. That frogs can move between heightened camouflage, textures, bodily mass, and expressive, celebratory colour, particularly intrigued The Human. The Human yearned to see other perspectives.


There was a family, important to The Human, though at times other members of the family were worried about the dual identities, and they moved freely between The Human and The Frog. Both The Frog and The Human love to sing and to roam places, without the need to buy anything, often searching out everyday textures, to see and sense ordinary things afresh. To not judge the value of a thing by its outward appearance. The Frog outfits were an exception, The Human always has their eye on items to reuse, often from charity shops or online; chest waders, household essentials and offcut materials, a recent t-shirt from a charity saving a lowland raised bog, a rare and threatened habitat. Friends helped and chipped in too.

Simon Woolham

The Frog masks evolved, changed colour, and grew appendages, often in relation to the places, environments, and moods The Human desired. There is a special bag for all parts in the boot of The Human’s car. The local monthly market is a regular haunt for both The Human and The Frog. The banter, the liveliness, the meandering qualities of the marketplace suited them. A good starting point is a carpark on the edges of the town before wandering up the road, careful to feel and see the topography through the mask and warm outfit.


Fellow humans seem to react in all sorts of ways, and this was different in relation to the place The Frog played in. The Frog is anxiously escorted across a busy road, a Frog-like hand and body gesture. Entering into a florist, surveying the foliage as the owner was keen to get activity quickly onto social media platforms ‘that’s Instagrammable’, they say. Moving through woven baskets, meats and cheeses; hats were tried on, vintage toys were taken off. The Frog shuffled down a passageway and followed the sound of music into a bar, found a much-needed chair and was offered a drink, but refused, as The Human could not take the mask off, so they moved on.

The Frog physically shifts, somewhere between human and amphibian-like. There is more live music in the busy town square, but nobody is dancing, apart from a couple of children. The Frog dances, squatting and jumping up and down and side to side as more humans join in, taking selfies with The Frog and the band of old men who smile and play on. The feeling was exhilarating, out of body, off the leash, playful and joyous, connected to everything in the place.


There is a church nearby, and as The Frog enters and ambles around, irked by the feeling of haunted space, not alive, but dead souls, no reaction, humans set in their ways. The Human feels that The Frog is a measure of life, in the moment perhaps. The vicar carries on a conversation with a cleaner as they listen valiantly, as the details unfold, a slight nod of the head to The Frog, but no embracing here. The frog quickly shuffles out into the open air, back into the sounds of layers and tones of speech, music, and noises, and homing in on other textures, enfolding a cacophony of melodies.

Simon Woolham
Simon Woolham

There is a contrast between The Human and The Frog in experiencing the shadow (and the smell of rubber) and light between being in the mask and looking out of it. They decided to move into the indoor shopping centre as they felt mischievous. They noticed that there was a long queue at Greggs, so they joined it. Those serving were focused on getting the steak bakes and sausage rolls out, but one small human noticed The Frog, everyone else focused on what lay ahead. As The Frog reached the front of the queue, the combination of the mixture of smells and The Human could not take the mask off so it was out of the question to grab any food, they nodded and walked away.

‘There’s The Frog!’, word was getting around, the high-fives, selfies with The Frog, and even hugs were flying, it started to rain, and all felt good. The Frog noticed a man wearing a retro waistcoat, as The Frog gestured to show their appreciation, a future outfit they thought. More places, more events, more actions, different environments were streaming in; roaming canals, streams, other towns and cities, on journeys by train, tram and bus, through woods and over hills, in bars and restaurants, birthday parties and weddings, on film and online. There were endless possibilities. They drove home with a new mantra in their head and re-dressed till next time.

Simon Woolham
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