While working on the business plan, financial forecast, funding forms and other such things I had a realisation. All this information was important but I was missing something rather vital. If As Yet Untitled is actually going to do the things I was writing about I needed to start considering artists or writers that we might collaborate with. I needed to start making books.
Eventually I would like to open submissions but for that to work I needed evidence, books that would prove to these strangers that we are a company worth want working with. More importantly that having evidence for others I need evidence for myself, I need the chance to discover how this process I am imagining actually works. I need an artist willing and able to come along for this first ride. But how do I find this artist, someone willing to take the jump based on my own books. The answer to this conundrum wasn’t hard to find. Elbow Room has created a community of incredible artists over the years many of whom I would be thrilled to work with in a more extended capacity.
But who? It only took a moment to find the answer to that.
Ella is a poet and an incredible one. We published her poems in the very first volume of Elbow Room and then again in our first UEA Special Edition. I love her work (which is the only criteria I really have to work with when selecting an artist for anything) and I know she enjoys collaborating. You can see her award winning film poem collaboration with Garrett and Garrett here.
All that was left was to explain what we are doing to grow As Yet Untitled and ask if she wanted to make a book with us.
Over delicious food in a curry house in Brick Lane earlier this week Ella and I had our first meeting, discussing her fledgling ideas for the book, winding through a conversation about all sorts of things including of all things a joint love of Barthes. I came home thrilled, buzzing and excited to get started on creating and publishing our very first collaborative artists’ book.
I can’t wait to find out how this process is going to work. We will keep you updated as we go…
Ella Chappell was born south of Manchester in 1990. She attained both the BA and MA degrees in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. Her poetry has been published in various online and print magazines including Elbow Room, The Lighthouse, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Belleville Park Pages. Her filmpoem, Rolling Frames, made in collaboration with a choreographer and filmmaker, won the Southbank Poetry Film Competition, Shot Through The Heart, and has since been screened at many film festivals internationally, winning multiple awards. Most recent projects include a collaborative audio/poetry piece featured at the 'Conditional Expressions' art exhibition at the STCFTCOTS gallery in Leeds, and 'Disruption', a poem that opened the RCA MA 2015 fashion show, following a year-long cross-medium collaboration with a womenswear student.