Saoirse Amira Anis, ‘An Ode to Fear and Fire’, 2018-2020

My body swims through the air,

Constantly gasping for a release,

Constantly knowing it’s well within its reach.

If I tip toe gently enough,

I think I can make it to the top.


I have come out of the blue,

and into the blue.

Indeterminable from that which has been

and that which is yet to come.

Sprightly and disorganised:

a workspace with more work than space.


with confidence in uncertainty,

and trust in serendipity

things begin to happen.

(just let it happen)

I am merely co-creator,


The universe accompanies,

overseeing, but not overshadowing.


considering the outcome

and ignoring it,

for pondering, considering, and worrying

are conducive only

to unseized opportunities.


by listening gently

to the water against which

we should not struggle,


that which should be created

will be created.

(always believe in your soul)

Pacifying passers-by

as they wander through my mind,

clumsily intrigued

and equally intriguing.

This complete immersion

in the task at hand

mirrors a recommended immersion

in the world around.

A balance

between tension and release;

attention and serenity;

action and inertia.


I ask myself how

to turn fear into fire

and I am answered:

a surprising

burst of ingenuity

floats and throws

practice into perfection

(redefined as movement)


in all senses of the word

Is ultimately improvement.



Still trying.

Capturing the elusive:

the never-ending movement

that travels

with speed

and insurmountable grace.


penetrating that which seems


the last puzzle

is crisp and almost silent

save for one lone creak:

a gentle passion

and a subtle charm.

Stalking inoffensively at first,

until it catches up on itself

and finally becomes the fear

that had once turned itself into fire,

leaving unnoticed embers

of a failed endeavour

towards something more

than apathy.


by listening gently

to the water against which

we should not struggle,

all doubts steadily

and surely slide down until

they reach the ocean.

The final repose

is there,

at the bottom of the ocean,

and the weight of the water

is a welcome warmth

that cradles the chest.

Soon enough

the comfort becomes everything

and nothing else matters.

A constant comfort,

endless enveloping,

perpetual peace.


a perpetual peace

is a quiet life

without action,

and without grace.


I ask myself again

how to turn fear

into fire.


Audre provides me with the answer.

(I can still dance!)

The answer lies on the edge of the ocean,

at the edge of the infinite:


and inconsistently


I can still hear it,

and I can still feel it.

And so,

just like that,

fear becomes fire once again.


Saoirse Amira Anis is an artist based in Dundee. Saoirse’s creative process is a celebration of the holistic and constantly changing nature of existence, and she takes delight in being able to explore the fascinating and beautiful relationships between materials, memories, and the essential movement which runs through everything. Interested in her personal ancestry, she has been considering the ways in which she is responsible for the continuation of her cultural heritage.

Inspired by the value that she places on displaying empathy, Saoirse’s work also investigates personal therapeutic processes, and how this relates to the ways we share our vulnerabilities with others. She has been considering the potential that lies in caring for ourselves and others, and the extent to which this nurturing can benefit us both personally and politically.