The Weight of Words

7 Jul-26 Nov 2023
PV 6 Jul 2023, 6-8pm

Henry Moore Institute
Leeds LS1 3AH


This group exhibition explores the relationship between sculpture and poetry, with new and existing work by an intergenerational mix of acclaimed, contemporary international artists and writers.

Sculpture and poetry are two of the world’s oldest art forms. Despite their differences and divergent traditions, many of the most exciting developments in making and criticism consciously mix and blur the distinctions between different art forms to create a dynamic third space.

The Weight of Words features an international and intergenerational mix of contemporary artists and writers, all of whom pursue poetry through sculptural means. Ranging in tone from the humorous to the haunting, expressing everything from direct quotations to the unsayable, the works on show entangle the two art forms by compounding the three-dimensional and linguistic qualities of words. Together, they reveal what can happen to languages and our experiences of them when sculptural interests in weight, materiality, form and arrangement are charged by a poetic impulse to see words take on depth and presence. The shift between the two-dimensional experience of written language and the three-dimensional experience of sculpture requires a different way of looking and reading that happens physically, across space and time.


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The Weight of Words – The Curators' Tour
Henry Moore Foundation