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Egidija Čiricaitė is an artist, poet and PhD candidate at the Slade School of Fine Art and UCL Linguistics, where she is researching Relevance Theory and metaphor.

My conversation with Egidija took place at her home in South London, where she has a small office and creative space, crammed full with notes, books, materials and papers. Down the middle hangs what appears to be a washing line, pegged up with pages of drawings, ideas and experiments. We began, however, in the kitchen, where I attempted to pronounce Egijia’s surname – with mixed results.

I particularly wanted to catch up with Egidija because I wanted to find out more about the world of book arts. I am interested myself in the interplay between the visual and the verbal, but I confess that I have never really ‘got’ artists books, so I was hoping to find out where I was going wrong.

In this episode we talk about how books function as cultural objects, how our preconceptions inform our expectations of what the contents might be and how readers of books are portrayed on social media. We also discuss the relationship between academic research and artistic practice – what, if any, is the link between the two?

I especially liked the way in which Egidija tells me how she finally decided that she had become a poet, and I remember in this regard thinking at the time how vividly Egidija was able to describe scenes and situations she was talking about. I also enjoyed hearing about Relevance Theory and the way in which our brains construct reality from their surroundings.

Thank you to Egidija for a fascinating visit.

You can listen to this episode here:

Next week: Karen Eng takes me on a tour of Kings Lynn to see some large scale outdoor projections and we discuss her early adoption of new technologies such as VR, AR and NFTs.