Rudimentary crucifixion in sunshine

The Map Inside by Terry Simpson

Terry Simpson has written this fantastic poem, inspired by and incorporating words from many of the artworks in the exhibition. It’s a sort-of found poem in that respect, you might spot some of the references.


Terry was one of the founder members of Leeds Survivor Poets and has been an important part of the mental health / disability arts scene in Leeds. He performs regularly around the city. I’m so pleased that he agreed to contribute to this project.


[Featured image above: Still from Vielleicht Niente by Lily Lavorato]

Video still of pair of hands
Still from Handwashing by Nicole Murmann

The Map Inside


how they loved those fabulous goats

climbing down from the wilderness,

accessing tops of huts and cars,

the empty streets and suburban walls,

reminding them of something they had lost


that was their power


you had stilted years in the forest,

an obscure figure praying through paint,

remaking yourself and your awkward art,

falling voiceless among the slabs

at the foot of impossible stairs


the way was too narrow, the travel office closed.

you ran your fingers over the maze,

finding bliss in the texture of birch and bead,

small magical things and prayers of offering.

you reached for solid ground, making your own book


that was your power


as the world slowed, something remarkable –

those who never speeded up appearing

mysterious as tooth fairies,

back from the arse end of nowhere, queer as colour

and stronger than you’d think. released


we find a future with no answers –

washing hands making love to each other,

crows flying against a multi-coloured sky.

we wear crowns of yellow flowers

and fall asleep with birds in our ears


we find light


this is our power