About the commission: spokenwrittendrawn



spokenwrittendrawn is a collection of pages from sketchbooks created during 2015/16, researching and reflecting upon language. The following pages were created over 6 months, to record, research and reflect upon the language I was speaking, hearing and reading within my work environment. Particularly the focus is on the language used within an organisation, as Tate embrace the ethos of the national Circuit programme for young people and work towards organisational shifts to ensure our welcome, and offer, is relevant and accessible.

This commission by Circuit, led by Tate and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation,  explores language as an aspect of Organisational Change through my role as Programme Manager for Young People at Tate St Ives, working in conjunction with my practice as an artist. What is it to be an artist at the core of an organisation?  What does that mean, what does it look like and how does it complement a work approach?



Everything is process; organisational change, language, conversation, sketchbooks, learning. Sketchbooks became integral to my process of practice as research, and have been edited, digitised and shared here in a way that they would not usually be seen.

Through reproducing pages to share, content which I would previously have considered as unimportant, unfinished, or just the beginning of an idea, exists independently.

The digitisation process has been as significant as the original pages. Editing has removed some of the white noise and scribble, and brings pages together to create a new work suitable for sharing. The pages are not ordered to give explanation, there’s a chaotic surface as exists in the original sketchbooks, with underlying patterns.

Divided into three chapters, spoken written drawn, each chapter contains my sketchbook response to that mode of communication. The pages record my process: of observing, thinking, imagining, reflecting, and questioning.


In the sketchbooks is an inherent movement and stillness. Pinning down language through lists of words and their relations creates both exclusions and possibilities. If it is red then it is not green. This is definitive. If it’s red then it could be an apple or an Audi. A possibility. The static and the shifting.

Conversation, discussion, dialogue, communication always has a live and moving moment, the moments in which it is created or the moment in which it is shared. Liveness once captured becomes static; unread emails, dead air, an uncomfortable silence.

A closed book.