Survey by Qualaroo

What Elsewhere is...

A new piece by our Art from Elsewhere writer-in-residence Lizzie Lloyd, written in response to the exhibition.

Elsewhere is not here and here is not elsewhere.

Here is surrounded by elsewhere which is anywhere else but here.

But where else, specifically, is elsewhere? Everywhere? No, there.

And there and there. And here. 


Elsewhere is better, or worse.

Elsewhere is better and worse.

Elsewhere is not necessarily a place in which we are, or are not,

but a space in which we are or are not or were or were not or might or might not be.


If you’re lucky, it draws you out of yourself: you seem elsewhere.

I like this elsewhere, as if my skin, my here, has been peeled away.

When whatever it was that seemed so desperate to be otherwhere, is finally released,

disgorging gossamer nerve fibres and spiderling thoughts.

With dispersal comes the chance of survival.

So scuttling or skimming or bridging or ballooning,

my elsewhere scatters:

to my pocket,

to the back of my mind,

to the pitt of my stomach,

trailing plume-like behind me or racing on ahead;

it is packed up expectantly into car and boat loads,

spewed down busy city streets,

exchanged: one unprofitable elsewhere for another (you see, elsewhere cannot be bought),

or dumped wantonly in lifeless piles to become someone else’s here.


Then elsewhere is here. And here, elsewhere.

So elsewhere is neither here nor there, or both here and there?


In that case they are not one, but many.


They will not be possessed or moored to a here or a there,

or a here on the way to there or a there on the way to here. 

Elsewheres are not specimens to be caught in nets,

or condensed and examined in round bottomed flasks.

Elsewhere’s make no sense shut away in cabinets (or sentences) arranged or explained.


Elsewheres will set themselves adrift, to dissipate and later congregate,

of their own accord, around forms that are distinct and shared:

In windows: to frame, look out, keep in, shut out;

in envelopes: to send, stash or reach out;

in lines: to connect, divide, cut along.

Elsewheres swarm, like heres, like this.

Feeling their way

brick by brick, shard by shard, stitch by stitch, word by word

to somewhere else.

Together they hold the promise of revelation

though no amount of restitching, hitching, cross-stitching, and unpicking

will pluck them from their haze of (inter-)connective doubt. 


Tell us what you think! Email or tweet to us on @ArnolfiniArts

Lizzie will be sharing more work at a special event to mark the end of her residency on 13 July. More information to follow.

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Saturday 21 September 2019, 14:00 to 16:30

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