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.
Sophie was selected as the 2023-24 Runner Up, along with Elissa Vinh, 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.
Sophie Howe is a queer writer studying Fine Art/History of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her writing explores auto-fiction, queer Ecology, non-nuclear families and compassionate body horror. Her writing has previously appeared in Phi Mag, and Underworld Zine.
After seeing Nicole Eisenman’s exhibition: What Happened, I imagined her painted figures as members of my family. I was interested in blending my life with references to Eisenman, and her considerations of global affairs. I’ve been revisiting cultural norms from my American childhood, like Christmas shopping and stumbling across firearms for sale. The eeriness of celebrating while other people are subjected to violence is especially topical as thousands are suffering in Gaza. I wanted to tell a story of queerness and family struggles that reflected glimpses of a wider world, even if the political events referenced took place in 2009.
An opportunity for an early career creative to work on their writing practice in the context of a contemporary art gallery.