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Leading writers take up 'darkness residencies' for art project


Bernardine Evaristo, Max Porter and Raymond Antrobus rise to artist Sam Winston’s challenge in A Delicate Sight to submit to time in blackout

Some of the UK’s most acclaimed authors, from the Folio prize-winning poet Raymond Antrobus to the Booker-winning novelist Bernardine Evaristo, have been searching for the light of inspiration in an unusual way: shutting themselves away for hours in complete darkness.

These “darkness residencies” are the brainchild of the artist and writer Sam Winston, part of his immersive project, A Delicate Sight. Winston asked Evaristo and Antrobus, as well as Don Paterson and Max Porter, to spend hours in blackout before writing something inspired by heightened senses, identity, imagination, sensory reduction and rest. The project launched online on Wednesday, with workshops, interviews and a film by the Bafta-winning documentary maker Anna Price. An exhibition at the National Writing Centre and the Barbican, as well as a book, are due to follow later this year.

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