Commissioned by the Herbert Art Gallery & Grain Projects, the Mountain Garden (Elude, Étude) is an assemblage of video Haikus by Ryan Christopher. 

In the Haikus, emancipatory thoughts exist as fragments. The work recalls the historical accounts of Jesus and his disciples, who often withdrew to Gardens and Mountains throughout the Middle East. The poems speak of peripheries, exiles, sojourners with the scent of life and communities of plants watered by streams, where otherness is a catalyst for relation.  

In the work, we observe movements of solace, cultivation and absence through a more visceral form of communication. The constraints of language and visibility are eluded, we are met with a portrait of renewal. 

Piano Piece Composed and played by Elise van Der Kraan

In collaboration with Djenna Saccoh (Dance), Alma Chaouachi (Poem Reading), Danson Gichini (Mountain Footage)


Resounding Gongs and the Peripheral Vision of Sheep (2020) is an experimental film by Ryan Christopher.

Through obscurity and the poetic, the artist interrogates our relationship with empathy, language and listening (in response to the current circumstances of Refugees and Asylum seekers in the UK). The film explores these uncertainties with a focus on the tensions of seeing and hearing/ being seen and being heard, playing with the notion of acousmatic sound and its antithesis. In dismantling these components of human interaction, the film seeks more universal forms of communication and ways of attuning to those peripheral to dominant structures, challenging the barriers caused by language and stigma. Disorienting combinations of spatial, audio-visual elements contribute to the uncertainty of the film, hope and unease liaise as we are invited to be more intentional in our listening.

Commissioned by Slanguages in collaboration with Maokwo, for International Refugee week, 2020