Word Fishing

Henry Moore Foundation – 2023

As part of my work on the ‘The Weight of Words, A Collision of Sculpture and Poetry’ exhibition, I laid out a poem from Anthony (Vahni) Capildeo and the beautiful drawings and letterings created by illustrator Molly Fairhurst in response to their words on the the front facade and inside corridor of the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.

Dr Clare O’Dowd (the exhibition curator):
‘The green-black façade of the Henry Moore Institute is clad with Ubatuba granite, a natural stone quarried in Brazil that compresses millions of years of mineral history. The flecks of colour and highly polished surface give it a watery appearance that captures dappled reflections.

Brought to life by illustrator Molly Fairhurst (b. 1995), Capildeo’s specially commissioned poem reimagines the façade as though looking down through water and time, with layers of aquatic life evoking layers of language.

Shoals of word-fish swim across the surface, each emphasising a different vowel sound. Five hand-written phrases bend and pull on the surface of the image, like tidal lines or glints of sunlight. The phrase dear heart breathe encourages visitors to re-tune their attention as they enter the building.’

Photos by Min Young Lim