Bodily Poetries: Raymond Antrobus & Heather Phillipson

  • Online event
  • Wednesday, 17 November 2021
  • Live discussion, starting at 6pm. Part of our Sculpture & Poetry Research Season, developed in partnership with Corridor8 and the University of Leeds.

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.  

This event is the first in a four-part series that brings together two acclaimed practitioners from different backgrounds for artistic ‘blind dates’, where they discuss how their work combines a care for materiality with a desire to stretch language.

Chaired by Nick Thurston (Associate Professor in Fine Art, University of Leeds), the four events establish a series of new conversations. Our guests come from across four generations and five continents. They work with many languages and almost as many disciplines, including installation art, dance, performance poetry, ceramics, textiles and digital literature. All events will feature solo presentations and live conversations held online. Extra reference resources for each guest and an evolving package of engagement activities for schools and families will be available to access on the project microsite.

About the speakers

Raymond Antrobus is a British poet and educator. His work includes the books To Sweeten Bitter (Out-Spoken Press, 2017), The Perseverance (Penned In The Margins / Tin House, 2018), All the Names Given (Picador / Tin House, 2021) and children's picture book Can Bears Ski? (Walker Books / Candlewick, 2021). In 2020, Raymond was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre. Other awards include the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, Sunday Times Young Writer Of The Year 2019, Somerset Maugham Award and The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018.

Heather Phillipson works across video, sculpture, installation, music, drawing and digital media. Her poetry includes a pamphlet for the Faber New Poets series (2009) and the books Instant-flex 718 (Bloodaxe, 2014) and Whip-hot & Grippy (Bloodaxe, 2019). Recent solo exhibitions include RUPTURE NO 1: blowtorching the bitten peach at Tate Britain (London, 2021), THE END for the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square (London, 2020-22), The Age of Love at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead, 2018) and a vast commission for Art on the Underground’s flagship site at Gloucester Road station (London, 2018). Forthcoming and recent group exhibitions include the Shanghai Biennale (2021), British Art Show 9 (2021-22), Sharjah Biennial 14 and an online work for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2018). Phillipson received the Film London Jarman Award in 2016 and the European Short Film Festival selection from the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2018. A monograph on her work was published by Prestel in 2020.

Related resources

Raymond Antrobus, Inventions in Sound 2021

An experimental documentary made for BBC Radio 4, Inventions in Sound explores our use of audio captioning.

Watch or listen to Inventions in Sound online:

Heather Phillipson, VOLTA 2020

Heather Phillipson’s audio-collage, VOLTA, reckons with upheaval, renewal and possibility. Written and composed by the artist, it combines her distinctive layering of voice, sound effects and music samples to destabilise and relocate. Phillipson’s singular, visceral audio works connect an abundance of noises, words and images, generating multiple possible directions. Her frenzied musings bend speech to tempo and logic to rhythm, disrupting perceptions and assumptions.

Listen to Volta below, or find out more at

Download a transcript of VOLTA (PDF, 0.4mb)

Sculpture & Poetry Research Season

This six-month research season celebrates practitioners and scholars who explore the connections between poetry and sculpture and have developed critical or imaginative ways of turning our attention to them. It brings together two academic conferences and four public discussions between renowned artists and poets.

See all Sculpture & Poetry Research Season events

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.

Venue details

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