Young Writer in Residence 2023-24 – Runner Up
Elissa Vinh

In search for next Young Writer in Residence, in October 2023 we launched an open call for original submissions which responded to Whitechapel Gallery’s Autumn season of exhibitions.

We received a wide range of incredible submissions each offering their own unique take on the season, drawing upon the works of Nicole Eisenman, Anna Mendelssohn, Johanna Billing, and the artists featured in It All Starts With a Thread.

Elissa was selected as the 2023-24 Runner Up, along with Sophie Howe, for the Gallery’s Young Writer in Residence Programme.

With thanks to all those who applied, and to our selection panel which included Young Writer in Residence 2022 Yulin Huang, poet Nisha Ramayya, TISSUE founders Donna Marcus and Sam Moore and Whitechapel Gallery staff.

As an explorer and weaver of narratives, Elissa Vinh is interested in the translation of human emotion through different means of communication with the aim to foster social conscience on the singular yet collective human experience.

Elissa’s piece

Dystopian Overflow emerged from a desire to explore the energetically textured brushstrokes animating the turbulent flux in Nicole Eisenman’s painting Coping (2008). Oscillating between opposites, navigating between balance and imbalance, certainty and uncertainty, the poetic narration unfolds like a tide, weaving metaphors and oppressive aquatic landscapes that prompt reflection on the complexities of the human condition.

The textual canvas depicts the intricacies of interpretation in a tumultuous time governed by binaries. It embodies the notions of resilience against categorisation and delves into the tiresome contemplative depths of the human experience — a realm that thrives against the backdrop of mortality.

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Young Writer in Residence

An opportunity for an early career creative to work on their writing practice in the context of a contemporary art gallery.