After Linda Wallis
Volume Editors

In this ekphrastic exercise, four of Volume’s Editors respond to artwork by Linda Wallis.

Landscape with Raincloud
Colored pencil, 7 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (20 x 20 cm), 2018

But then again

Might be or it might not. But then again
it looks like it’s driving some place,
pouring for the sake of it, pushing through
the scenery and over you and on the way
to rain becoming somewhere.
Rain on the horizon and behind the rain
the thinking we’re supposed to do
once the front has broken, found another
town to haunt. No source to weather
but the source welled up inside of us,
whatever weather is. Oil to the hinges,
how quietly the doors of ground
open when it pours, and who knows
what is coming out, thirsty for answers.
—John Challis

Colored pencil, 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (30 x 30 cm), 2020

In the know

I never knew there was a tunnel
let alone its destination or the river’s

southern side or what standing under
tidal water would feel like,

so natural and hard to know
I was beneath the river in a windowless

corridor. I think about the tunnel
when I think about my work,

certain of my step under one god
or another, but never in the know

where exactly I am going or who
will be there when I reach the other side.

—John Challis

Colored pencil, 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. (40 x 40 cm), 2020

“Roughground” or a Series of Perspective Fictions

In theory, it is all perspective:
one hill far, the other near,
day or the gray shade of night,
veins of the oasis appearing or

           Or the serpent’s
barren abode, labyrinth
to the ant, colors through
a prism’s masquerade,
torpor of the sea at
inestimable distance.

Here, kingdoms rose and fell,
temples wore with ruin,
or the traveler by occupation
withstood an opulence
of silence.

        I’ve spent much
time in making these:
fictions clothed in
abstract meanings or
the gradients within the hour
before the habits of
waking or sleeping.

Still, the scene turns
rich with hunger still
the eye is apt to mound
the dune the plot
the pyre & barrow
all of it, uncertain ground.

—Libby Goss

Cat in Corner
Colored pencil, 11 x 15 in. (28 x 38 cm), 2021


Too much living and not enough poetry.
Too much watching and not enough poetry.
Not enough money and not enough poetry.
Not enough hours and too much poetry.
Too much sun and not enough sun.
Too many hands and not enough holding.
Not enough fingers on the hand.
Out of five fingers three are burning.

—Madeline Gilmore
All artworks copyright Linda Wallis.

Linda Wallis is a Nottingham, UK–based artist working primarily in colored pencils. With a love of form and a sense of the bizarre, her drawings teeter between the plausible and the ridiculous; a strange array of objects and shapes that appear to depict something tangible. In 2017 Wallis made a dramatic break from painting city and townscapes to focus on what she believes are manifestations of her unconscious. By reappropriating pattern, form, shape and texture from everyday and ordinary things, she brings to life an eccentric array of mischievous constructions on paper. Linda’s work is held in private collections in the United States, China, Ireland, Tasmania, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

Read about our editors here.


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