Spike Island

Talk: movement.language.line.sign


Sunday 1 May 2016, 2pm


Free, booking advised

Event type


What do sign languages have in common with drawing, writing and the space of the page? Tamarin Norwood is joined by British Sign Language interpreter, writer and artist Dr. Kyra Pollitt to consider how the use of space, time and movement in BSL and BSL poetry relates to the processes and products of drawing.

Book your place

A studio display accompanies this event, and BSL interpreters are present from 1pm. Following this event, join us for a free BSL interpreted tour of Spike Island Open Studios at 3.30pm (free, no booking necessary). 

movement.language.line.sign from Tamarin Norwood on Vimeo.


This event is part of Point Line Time, a drawing research project led by artist and writer Tamarin Norwood as part of her twelve-month residency at Spike Island, Bristol. Throughout her residency, Norwood is working with a network of researchers and practitioners including an animator, a 3D print engineer, a choreographer and a sign language translator to explore the acts of drawing and writing in relation to time and three-dimensional space. She hosts a series of public conversations, presentations and live experiments as she develops a new body of work.

Tamarin Norwood

Tamarin Norwood is an artist and writer. UK commissions include Tate Britain, Art on the Underground and Modern Art Oxford; international exhibitions include MOCCA Toronto, ICA Philadelphia, Beton7 Athens and AC Institute New York. Recent art writing, fiction and poetry includes publications by the ICA, LADA and Bloodaxe; her artist book 'olololo' was published by Modern Art Oxford with Book Works studio.

Tamarin studied linguistics before training as an artist at Central Saint Martins and on the Goldsmiths MFA Art Writing. She is part of the inaugural team of research residents of the Hub at Wellcome Collection, and is completing a practice-led doctorate in Fine Art as a Clarendon Scholar at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.


Kyra Pollitt

Kyra Pollitt is an artist in word and sign. She comes to writing from a successful career as a published translator and international interpreter. Her doctoral thesis investigated the nature of poetics in natural sign languages. Kyra is currently enjoying The Travelling Language Gallery – a collective of artist-writers she founded in 2015, who write and perform bespoke poetry for events and sites.

Back in 2001, Kyra translated and performed the winning poem, Text4, at the Manchester Poetry Festival. In 2013 she won the InsideArts / Faber Poetry Translation Prize. Kyra has performed her translations of the works of acclaimed poets Simon Armitage and Roger McGough onstage with them (at Latitude, 2012 and 2014 respectively). In 2014 she made a film-poem in collaboration with Edinburgh Maker Christine da Luca, which debuted at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and was shown at literary festivals across Scotland. In 2013 Kyra staged two days of Action/Assemblage: drawing together at the Royal West of England Academy, inviting the public to question the involvement of the body in acts of drawing and translation. Kyra has devised and performed more than 300 theatrical translations, and also live interpretations of musical performances by — amongst others -— Annie Lennox (Heldenplatz, Vienna, 2010), Blondie (Other Stage, Glastonbury, 2014), First Aid Kit (Obelisk Stage, Latitude 2012 and 2014), Stealing Sheep (i-Arena, Latitude, 2013 for Blue Peter), and regularly for Billy Bragg (2009-2015).