The lying. The lies.
The loathing. The distaste.
The name calling.
The hot air of rant-rousing slivers, deaf to inequity.

Tongue-tied is Hayley Newman’s collection of mute tongues that emit no words but communicate through pigment and shape. Static and singular, they divulge, bare and reveal. One vulnerable, another bold; ventriloqual expressions of cadence and timbre, of pattern, patter and the patois of speech.

Some are flamboyant, seductive and blustering, others compulsively lie and fib. Jargonistic, they leak lingo, wag and promise. Phoney phoneticians tie reality in knots, while foolish flap clappers, slippery with prejudice, are coiled with hostility.

Hungry and hoarse with disparity, others stutter through each precarious day; week; month; year. Invisible lexicons of disregarded glossaries. Unheard utterances on disenfran- chised lips. Vulnerability on the tips of many.

Imagine the watercolours releasing themselves from their frames. Away from the wall, estranged tongues return to mouths and there is movement, exchange and dialogue; heart-to-hearts and tête-à-têtes. One tongue chatters and another natters; communicating in different languages and dialects. Kindness lingers on lips. Voices care, vocabularies are shared and the tender, persistent and precarious tongues come together.

Works presented in Tongue-tied have been selected from an incidental archive of over 500 drawings, watercolours, texts and knitted textiles made by Hayley Newman since June 2018, all of which trace personal responses to a time of uncertainty and turbulence.

Tongue-tied will be accompanied by a new publication by Newman and Q2, the second instalment in our ongoing series of artist interviews.

Matt’s Gallery, 92 Webster Road, Bermondsey, London, SE16 4DF from 2nd – 24th November. Times: Wed – Sun 12-6pm. Admission: Free. 0207 237 0398.