The Mechanics of a Metaphor, Enxhi Mandija

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The Mechanics of a Metaphor is a collection of prose poems and series of paintings included as photographs. Imaginatively inhabiting family stories and memories as spaces of speculation, possibility and playfulness, the book investigates the relation between ideas of belonging, storytelling and art-making.
The work stems from deep engagement with a set of old, used oil paints and art materials that belonged to a family member when working as a painter in Italy. Keeping close with the old paints as materials in a process, as well as traces of memory made concrete and tangible, the work advances writing and painting as forms of listening, ways of occupying the position of the ‘you’ addressed in a dialogue, rather than the ‘I’ that addresses. In this proximity to its materials – paints and memories – as well as the texts and images generated from and with them, The Mechanics of a Metaphor is situated in the vagueness, unreliability and trace-like nature of memory, the precariousness of the waning paint.

Each book has been bound and painted by the artist. The primed, canvas-like oil paper used for the cover allows for the old paints, used for the paintings photographed inside, to mark the books.

135pp. | 130 x 244 mm

Enxhi Mandija is a visual artist and writer based in Glasgow. She has recently completed an MLitt in Art Writing at the Glasgow School of Art, and she also holds an MA from the University of Aberdeen in English-History of Art. Originally from Italy and Albania, her writing and visual practice explores the interstices between memory and fiction, the interferences of other languages onto English, and art as a transnational, transgenerational practice. Her poem ‘Unspool’ has recently featured in the exhibition ‘Shop Local’ held at the Suttie Arts Space, Aberdeen. She is the winner of the 2020 Literary Lights Creative Writing Prize, held by the Grassic Gibbon Centre in Arbuthnott, and her writing has appeared on SPAM Zine, The Yellow Paper, The List, and The Elphinstone Review amongst others.