Nicky Arscott

Nicky Arscott | Looking Back on A.i.R.

Poet and artist Nicky Arscott looks back at her 2017 residency project.

Through my approaching residency with Wales Arts Review, I felt I had more of a solid foundation from which to approach people with ideas for collaborative work. I think having a set date and place to aim for occasionally helps when you are not exactly sure what you are doing, or how you will do it. This was how the two poetry comics pieces – with Juana Adcock and Eric Ngalle Charles – came into being.

Interpreting these two very different poets and then deciding the best way to re-imagine their work through imagery was a good exercise in having to think about what it is I am trying to do with what I (correctly or incorrectly) call ‘poetry comics’. It helped me to realise that what I am doing is a form of translation in itself. It helped me to think about how much I should or shouldn’t put of myself into that translation. In other words, it got me to think about how a ‘direct’ translation is more like an illustration, and that when you start to do a freer and less strict translation, you start to create something else in the space between text and image.

Getting feedback is key for me at the moment as I feel a bit like I’m at a crossroads with what I’m doing. Actually, it’s more of a spaghetti junction than a crossroads. Having these pieces out there gave me some ideas about how to move forward.

Juana and I are about to do a litho print run of the (now) bilingual comic ‘Este Cuerpo de Mujer Que Habito’. Ngalle and I will be looking for funding to see how we can develop the work we created into a larger piece that might be used for educational purposes in schools and museums. In 2018 I’m also going to be pushing forward with my own ideas for a graphic novel.

As an artist it feels good to have the backing of an organisation like Wales Arts Review when what you are doing is a little experimental (or contains things like politicised dildos). And the continued support means a lot.


To see all of Nicky’s work for her 2017 residency project click here.