Inside the writing life of Lucy Sollitt

Lucy Sollitt is a philosopher, curator, artist mentor, and consultant. She is also a brilliant writer. Her latest article The Synthetic Sacred: How The Thin Places In Art Offer A Redemptive Relationship With Hybrid Ecologies, challenges our often binary responses toward a technical and synthetic future present. Lucy shares with us an insight into how writing has increasingly woven its way into her work and is fast becoming a part of her everyday practice…

Having originally trained as a philosopher, I now work independently as a curator, writer, artist mentor and consultant. I specialise in art that creatively and critically reflects on emergent technologies, utilises alternative models for operating and supports an ecological sensibility.

I situate my practice as part of a wider collective endeavour which is seeking alternatives to exploitative and extractive relationships with life on our planet. I think and create through art exploring its potential to offer sacred encounters that can help reconnect us with mystery and art’s role as a gathering point for exploring alternative ideas for how things can be.

Falling into writing

I feel like I’ve fallen into writing somewhat unconsciously. In recent years my practice has entailed more and more writing; whether it’s essays and articles or reports and analysis – writing has become essential to my work. I’ve never seen myself as “a writer” and still don’t, but I would say that I am beginning to fully embrace writing as part of my practice and am gradually figuring out how I even might start to enjoy the process! Working with Rebecca as my writing coach has been an essential part of this growing understanding of how I relate to writing, and can improve as a writer and I’m very grateful for this.

Writing The Synthetic Sacred

I’ve just finished writing a philosophical essay entitled, The Synthetic Sacred: How The Thin Places In Art Offer A Redemptive Relationship With Hybrid Ecologies, it’s now published on  Nero Editions, an art platform. Writing this essay marks a turning point for me in my career where I am beginning to come home to what I really care about and am interested in. As a freelancer, I often work reactively in response to briefs and commissions, but with this piece I was writing for myself, and I hope for others who will connect to the ideas and perhaps even think differently as a result.

Writing Routine

Right now, I don’t know what my next piece of writing will be but I think I’m getting closer to deciding. When I do decide, I am confident that the process will help me continue to develop my writing skills and explore writing as a tool to paint the colours of my questions and ideas

To be honest, I still don’t have a writing routine even though I know I “should”. Due to the nature of my work I do end up trying to articulate some idea or thought most days but I don’t do it as a deliberate routine, yet!

Be gentle with yourself

I think one of the things that have been helpful to me has been to focus on just trying to get the words onto the page, to embrace drafts rather than trying to get it right the first time.

For those of us who feel writing doesn’t necessarily come naturally or can be painful at times/often I’d also say be gentle with yourself and your doubts, go with the flow, focus on writing about things you care about and see if you start to enjoy it more.

Writing Coaching and Mentoring

Working with Rebecca has been amazing and has helped me in many ways. Two things particularly stand out as I write this.

Firstly, Rebecca has supported me to build confidence in my writing abilities. She has been a great source of encouragement. Rebecca has given me constructive advice and helped me keep going, especially in moments where I am really bogged down or doubtful. Rebecca has also been a champion for my work which is unexpected and a great source of delight! Secondly, Rebecca’s guidance and insights were invaluable in helping me weave together complex ideas when writing The Synthetic Sacred essay. Rebecca also really pushes me to get to the heart of what I’m trying to say, this is vital and something I will keep working on!

Giving name to the nameless

Rebecca shared Audre Lorde’s short essay “Poetry Is Not a Luxury” with me and I’d like to share a couple of sentences from it. For me, the first is about working from a place of truth, the second is something I’ll keep in mind for my next piece of writing…

“As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.”

“Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought.”

For more information…

Check out Lucy’s Linktree, her website and find her on Instagram @itsownlight

Other articles by Lucy

The Future of the Art Market

“3rd quantum revolution”: Can the radical potential of quantum be reclaimed?

Intersections – Art and Digital Creativity in the UK – a selection of articles

Reinventing the Art Lab on the Blockchain

If you are interested in finding some time for your writing why not join one of our free weekly writing rooms – either on a Tuesday evening at 8pm or a Friday lunchtime at 12pm?

If you’d like to have a chat about your own writing project and ideas you can book a free 30-minute chat with me via Calendly

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