'Ravelling, Unravelling' is a metaphor both for the specific medical challenges which face us today and also those conflicts, internal and external, we have wrestled with through the ages. Now, more than ever, it would seem that knowldege, certainty and truth are not the rigid structures we might once have imagined, but are soft and changeable like the elements crucial for life itself. Fate in medicine as in myth appears tied to an ability to both do and undo. Concepts such as mobility and transformation, as well as being important artistically, also reflect the ways our bodies operate and ought, perhaps, be central to new philosophies. In short, we live in a tangled world. The closer we probe 'reality', the further it seems to recede from us. Solving old problems, new tangles emerge and complexity increases. The verb 'ravelen' mirrors this tension possessing at its root the opposing pull of both complication and undoing. The artworks featured in the exhibition and the texts in this publication are meditations on that process. They play on the possible gaps, interconnections and mirroring between ancient and modern problems, actual and virtual structures — and the ambiguities, contradictions and paradoxes therein.



'Ravelling, Unravelling' is a collection of commissioned essays on the theme of 'entanglement' by the artist Naheed Raza ('The Ties That Bind Us'), Steven Connor, Professor of Literature & Theory, Birkbeck College London ('Witchknot, Knitwits and Knots Intrinsicate'), Dr Elena Orlova, Specialist in macromolecular structures, Birkbeck College London and Poet/Ethnographer Tom Lowenstein ('Inner Tangle, Outer Tangle: A Buddhist & Shamanistic Perspective').

To purchase a copy (£6.50 inc. p&p) please contact the artist at