How might we navigate, be affected by, and transform our immersive world of signs?

How do we construe and read literary and non-literary texts for different purposes?

These questions lie at the heart of the paper ‘‘Modern Writing and Critical Thinking’, written and led by poet and academic Lisa Samuels.

On a crisp evening in mid-May, I made my way to the Window gallery in our University’s library foyer, where a Writing, writing everywhere event celebrated the launch of an exhibit that arose from Lisa’s paper. “Shortly after emergence, and at any subsequent stage or growthis a composite presentation of student material developed within the framework of the paper. The Window gallery supports emerging practitioners with both permanent online and temporary physical spaces to show their work. You could view the accompanying text composed by Elle Loui August on screen at the event or at your leisure at the permanent online exhibition.

SEED grant 2017 recipient Lisa Samuels (left) and exhibit’s curator and writer Elle Loui August (middle) discuss liquid writing. Photo credit: Tony Chung

The event bubbled with that fresh student enthusiasm which can enliven our work-weary lives. Their eager explanations of the work and its development emerged from the hubbub.

(l-r) Project curators Dexter Edwards and Elle Loui August, project instigator poet and academic Lisa Samuels, and two of the student participants, Irene Corbett and Anjula Prakash. Photo credit: Tony Chung

The installation in the physical location plays with reflections – at night it reflects itself in the glass above, while during the day it reflects the well-defined images of a permanent installation on the opposite wall. One of the students explained that this was deliberate and has synergies with the concept of ‘Liquid Writing’.

Photo credit: Tony Chung

Samuels’ concept of ‘Liquid Writing’ is a key term of this paper. According to the flyer, “It denotes imaginative responses of the writing subject/s that form passages through a variety of experiential and ideational texts and contexts. This term has been extended to a consideration of the visual, conceptual and physical dimensions of expanded fine arts practice with the assistance of curator and writer Elle Loui August.” Wall rendering was by Maximillian Quy.

Photo credit: Tony Chung

Lisa Samuels is one of this year’s SEED grant recipients. This installation was the culmination of her SEED Fund project, Modern Writing and Critical Thinking, where she and her students talked about “what it means to collaborate, mix, and translate literacy from one surface to another.” For more information about her project proposal, visit… and keep an eye on this blog.


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