She is an acclaimed poet but the page is not enough. This year's winner of the Jarman award talks about the anger and anxiety behind her giant feet and exploding dogs
Heather Phillipson is talking human hearts. “I had it installed especially,” she says, “to catch all the cliches. Hearts are the best bins for cliche. Hearts get top marks for looking at home pretty much anywhere. Hearts are there to catch passing feelings and strangle them. I wish I were as alive as my heart – and as deadly.”
So begins Commiserations, her eulogy to the heart and all its flailings. For heart, read hurt. Phillipson's long poem provides the voiceover to one of the two films for which she has just won the £10,000 Jarman award. The prize is named after film-maker Derek Jarman, who was also a painter and a marvellous writer. It seems apt that Phillipson, whose work you could also describe as “multi-disciplinary”, should win.