My impossible leg…Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin & Cornelia Parker

Last Thursday 9th April, Stirred Poetry visited Whitworth Art Gallery.

We responded to Sarah Lucas, Cornelia Parker, and Tracey Emin.

First exercise was to respond in pairs to three pieces which we selected from the Sarah Lucas exhibition.

Have typed up our responses to the really vivid piece below:


Nightmarish praying mantis high kick

Mandibles. You’ve been stuffed with ashes.

Broken arm. Sexual vice. Physical vice.

Has no head. Disjointed, sexualised legs.

Alien, disproportionately long legs, pre-pubescent

The tights are part of a chair. Manacled and sexualised.

Trapped? Tartan stockings punk. Can’t run away, no feet.

No torso. Safety pin as well. Unrealistic body.

Legs are impossible and without feet. VICE CUNT.

Is the vice her cunt? Tiny tight tights.

Melded into the chair, unsettling

Because separation between subject and context

Blurred, spoiled. Sexy school girl, open legs.

Vice suggests torture on a spotlight chair.

You forgot your shoes. You are tartan highland

School girl ready, chorus line, high leg kicking

Hurts to kick so high. You can do the splits

You are ready, although I don’t know what for.

Pointy, refined, messy inside. ‘sexy’ acrobatics.

Women as furniture. Crotch stitch.


Here is also a group response to the gnome, Willy:


Cheeky chappy, disgusting lips, knowing gaze,

Knowing gnome of a man. Consumed by addiction.

Cigarette-‘the white stick of freedom’. Disgusting man.

Unsexy man. Childlike man. Poisonous. Slug pellets.

Mythical mixed with habitual. Thumbs up.

Smoking shy, secretive, sinister. Gnome appears

Uncovered cigarettes in self portrait. Small penis.

Made when cigarette advertising was still legal.

Cigarette as phallus. Whole object as phallic.IMG_3043

Nicotine glue. Cherub. Innocent and expressionless.

Grotesque kitsch. Potential husband. Miniscule husband.

Up your garden path. Right up it. Face of gnomes.

Perfect lil’ hideout for the left out…shit art-art made of shit-

To new low renaissance. Organic bark. Colour wiped off.

Looks Santa-y.  Rain would ruin him. Functionally

Stripped from a functional decorative object.

Unsmoked cigarettes frozen in time. Looks

Like he is having a WANK.


Also see Anna PerIMG_3048cy’s free write from Tracey Emin found phrases here. We ended the session by writing a piece about our own bed at it’s messiest in true Tracey Emin style, but free wrote while gazing at the amazing piece by Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, and incorporated objects from that piece into our writing. You can just see the half melted hot water bottle I put into my bed freewrite in this shot. Anna Percy is NaPoWriMo this month and has put up her piece from that also! Check it out. 

Looking forward to seeing you all at Stirred: Tracey Emin on Mon 27th April! YES FEMINISM. Watch out for further blog posts on poetic responses to Tracey Emin coming up!



The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in BeccaAudra, Events, Feminist thinking, NaPoWriMo

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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