As a collaborator on the New Writing with New Contemporaries (NWwNC) project I’ve had the privilege of meeting the six nominated artists who use writing or language predominantly in their work.
What immediately struck me about the group was their optimism – a sharp, switched-on kind of energy that seems to cut through the current smog of political despair.
Their performances at Leeds Art Gallery in November made me sit up and listen/feel, and revisit them in my thoughts afterwards. They were in turns tragic, funny, haunting, mesmerising and painfully honest, leaving me lightheaded and hopeful for humans, and our incredible capacity to communicate.
Their own thoughts on their practice, which they’ve since shared with me, are similarly insightful. I’ve asked them to reflect on the role of language in their work, how it allows them to do things that other mediums don’t, and how they’d like their work to be received.