‘Darkness Visible’ – an immersive installation into the artist’s world at the Southbank Centre

If you’ve ever wondered what the artistic process is like, up close and in the dark, look no further.  Acclaimed artist, illustrator and typographer Sam Winston’s new immersive work Darkness Visible will take exhibition-goers into the depths of his creative process, but in total darkness.

This unique participatory installation documents the artist living and creating in absolute darkness for seven days and nights, exploring perceptions in artistic practice – with spoken word and soundscapes by poets Kayo Chingonyi, Emily Berry and George Szirtes, whose new poems, on what they could not see, were also created out of complete darkness residencies.

SAM says: “I make things out of looking – the idea of going ‘under’ or without images fascinates me. What landscapes are available to the image maker and writer when they are only given an internal view for 168 hours? I had set off into the dark looking for views by which to draw but what was most striking was the absence of pictures and how revealing a landscape that was……”

The public are invited into the dark to experience the creative impact of darkness in the newly commissioned Dark Room on Level 5 of the Royal Festival Hall. The National Poetry Library is completely covered in text, writings and drawings by Sam Winston – seeking to expose the often overlooked world beyond what we see.

Darkness Visible by Sam Winston @ Dark Room, National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, SE1 8XX, from 16 November 2017 to 14 January 2018.

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Ahmed Elmi


Ahmed has worked extensively in lifestyle editorial, writing for magazines like Esquire UK, and has also worked as a digital copywriter for numerous brands that include, L’Oreal, British Airways, and Pernod Ricard. Tweet him @ahmednelmi or send him a nice story: ahmed.elmi@theechelon.co.uk