Sculpture & Poetry Research Season: Online Events

Sculpture and poetry are two of the oldest known art forms. The connections between them are many and layered yet often seem to hide in plain sight, buried by histories and theories of division and specialism. Distinctions between the plastic and linguistic arts, and the intellectual conventions built upon those distinctions, encourage siloed traditions that tend to ignore or fetishise the qualities of the other.

This six-month research season celebrates practitioners and scholars who explore these connections and have developed critical or imaginative ways of turning our attention to them. Bringing together two academic conferences and four public events, each of which invites a renowned artist and renowned poet to discuss the personal and creative overlaps between their fields, their concerns and their work, we will start to map some of these connections along with the latest ideas that are refreshing them.

Sculpture & Poetry microsite

A free-to-access, dynamic microsite, developed with our media partner Corridor8, forms a digital archive for this season.

It serves as a searchable resource for the whole programme as it grows, creates connections between content and themes, and includes comprehensive bios and reference material.


Past events in this series:

New Voices: Sculpture & Literature

Two-day conference on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 October
Takes place online via Zoom, starting at 11am each day

Sculpture and literature are often separated by a disciplinary divide but have also come together in works and ideas as wide ranging as monuments, poetry and performances. This conference will build on a growing body of scholarship exploring what can be gained from working at the intersection of sculpture and literature.

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Bodily Poetries: Raymond Antrobus & Heather Phillipson

Live discussion on Wednesday 17 November
Takes place online via Zoom, starting at 6pm

Raymond Antrobus and Heather Phillipson discuss ‘the body’ as a locus for speaking, writing, feeling, listening and making.

Raymond Antrobus is a poet and educator. His diverse work ranges from sign language to video. He explores hearing, heritage and a search for ‘missing sounds’ by drawing on vernacular speech, multi-cultural histories and the physiology of listening. Heather Phillipson is an artist and poet. She works across sculpture, video, music, drawing and digital media. Her ‘quantum thought experiments’ explore our entanglement in ecosystems and the fragility of our ideas about them.

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Performance Poetries: Vahni Capildeo & Simone Forti

Live discussion on Wednesday 15 December
Takes place online via Zoom, starting at 6pm

Vahni Capildeo and Simone Forti discuss the cultural histories of collaboration, instruction, translation and recording they adapt.

Vahni Capildeo is a writer and editor. Their work ranges from book-length poems to experiments with performance. Their work explores voices, landscapes and movement between languages, cultures and places. Simone Forti is a dancer, artist and writer. Her work ranges from open choreographic systems to drawing. She uses improvisational techniques to explore everyday gestures, technologies and animality.

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Material Poetries: Simone Fattal & Maggie O'Sullivan

Live discussion on Wednesday 19 January 2022
Takes place online via Zoom, starting at 6pm

Simone Fattal and Maggie O’Sullivan discuss the stories and echoes we excavate when using materials or languages that have complex histories.

Simone Fattal is an artist and ceramicist. Her work explores symbols of home and displacement that span the personal and mythic via archaeology and figuration. Maggie O’Sullivan is a poet and artist. Her work ranges from experimental verse to textile sculptures. Her work explores connections between the visual and aural qualities of languages as they animate complex issues of voice, voicelessness and presence.

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Media Poetries: Luis Camnitzer & Tan Lin

Live discussion on Wednesday 9 February 2022
Takes place online via Zoom, starting at 6pm

Luis Camnitzer and Tan Lin discuss the binds between form, content and context that shape the impact of public language.

Luis Camnitzer is an artist and writer. His work ranges from gallery installations to cultural criticism. His work explores systems of power, ideologies of education, and the public value of art through an overtly political model of Conceptualism. Tan Lin is a poet and artist. His work ranges from fiction writing to video. His work explores the hybridity of cultural experiences through personal, material and technical processes of recall.

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Sculpture & Poetry

Two-day conference on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 February 2022
Takes place online via Zoom

Keynote Speakers: Olaf Nicolai (Conceptual artist and literary scholar) and Slavs and Tartars (Art Collective, Berlin)

Medium-specific designations can seem anachronistic, even incoherent within the post-medium, post-digital, hybrid nature of both contemporary art and literature. Nonetheless, both sculpture and poetry have specific genealogies of practice and reception, and both are currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Why and how, at the present moment, might two of the oldest art forms have become the locus for some of the most radical practices?

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This research season is organised in partnership with Corridor8 and the University of Leeds.

Venue details

Venue address

Online event
Participate online from your location.
Online platforms will vary for each event.
Please check your booking confirmation for details and joining links.