Rhiannon Williams

I'm a UK-based artist and writer. Fascinated by flora, fauna, film and music, as well as people and the things they talk about. This is a collection of articles, poetry and prose from over the past three years.

Spectacle and the Female Body

Revisiting ‘I Kissed A Girl’, we encounter Katy Perry simulating arousal on a bed, singing “We girls we are so magical, soft skin, red lips, so kissable.” Minaj is neither “soft” nor “kissable” but disturbing – the spectacle of her emphasized shape, thick makeup, colourful wigs and the clashingly jarring expressions she pulls beneath it all makes the prescribed female identity look like a heavy suppressor of the body. The carnal spectacles of characters like Fevvers and Nicki Minaj interrogate the objectifier; what appears initially arousing is suddenly unnerving, as though the subject of the gaze is fighting back. The definition of femininity is also questioned; the feminised bodies of loud or unconventional women forcing more room into the idea of what we as a society can consider ‘womanly.’

You Are Not a North Cyprus Girl

Every year, on the morning of July 20th, war sirens sound throughout the southern half of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The eerie ritual commemorates the island’s 1974 Turkish invasion and subsequent division, and the island remains divided today into Northern and Southern Cyprus. As the siren tradition suggests, memories and grievances concerning the events of 1974 are still very much alive on the island, and despite some progressive change over the past decade, the situation remains aggr

Dissertation Essay: 'A Labyrinth of Liberty: Human Inscription and Desire Lines on Islands'

While life growing up on the outskirts of London consisted of a set of programmed paths, my time living on the island of Cyprus informed me of alternative ways to engage with the land. The fat, tarmacked authority of a main road in Larnaca will be undermined by a dirt road shortcut nearby, dusty and dotted with goats, faster, more scenic, and a testament to islanders doing things their own way. Rock carvings denote which sea-caves have regular visitors, and ‘Keep off the Grass’ signs are rarer than skyscrapers. These paths and markings seemed to me inscriptions upon the land, not only physically, but in the sense that they tell of individual knowledge and desire: where somebody has travelled, and how they have used the land to get there. Part of my task then, with regards to my writing, became to create and use imagery of these telling ‘scribbles’, how they came to be, what they mean, and why they offer something different to the “anonymous law” (De Certeau 92) of urban mainland inscriptions.


She’s been told it’s a whole different kind of love, a bush fire of love. Wouldn’t it be a waste to complete the one life you are given in a single even stroke, without even giving this special, this exclusive breed of love a try? Your body can create life. Add a single cell; one tiny unit of punctuation and your body will light up and begin to weave. Your body has the ability to string together muscle and tendon, the capacity to home a little human form. It will contain the blossoming of the miniature alveoli and the spreading of tiny arterial creepers. It will home a blastocyst before an embryo, a foetus. It will be like a photograph developing inside you, he says, a tiny garden growing for us to cultivate and hold in our arms. But she keeps thinking of how the eyes in a foetus can be seen through the raw and illuminated skin, as though through a sun-lit eyelid, in their black entirety – a soggy, tapioca-pearl black. Too reminiscent of the eyes she picks out of king prawns before eating them. She picks them out for Christopher too so he doesn’t have to; he is incredibly squeamish about such things. She deadheads the damp pink crescents deftly, the same way she deadheads roses, and it seems correct to Christopher that her hands are always busy because restless is how he knows her to be. He watches her fingers extend like the foolhardy necks of wild birds to investigate a tablecloth pattern, to snap asparagus into equally-sized cylinders, to roll and fold a cigarette, a cinema ticket, before pulling it to hundreds of bits which she then wonders what to do with. He knows her nails to be kept very short - the white line always below the fleshy curve of the fingertip – because she nibbles them.


I think quite a lot about the blood, I think about it dark and floral, blotching through cotton. I think – I feel I know – that it can’t be a single base liquid filling all of us, it must be a little different for each person. Mustn’t it? I wouldn’t have minded. He sat through dinner choosing careful mouthfuls and words, sat at the other end of the table from me so I only really could catch his face when he turned slightly. His pink-skinned profile I have pocketed like a coin. I love the sight of new things, and so I watched him over the tureens and spoons and platters nodding at my father’s words and cutting his food to pieces to avoid being caught with a large mouthful at the receiving end of a question. Only to get a good clear impression pressed into the clay in my mind – just so I could catalogue him. Even so, I made sure to be very very discreet, Tabitha had again refused her seat at the top end where he was and she was down my end, watching me sourly and if she’d gotten the wrong idea they might have all thought me weak.

You Are Not a North Cyprus Girl - Original/Open Letter Version

An open letter in response to Martina Cole’s recent article in Woman and Home Magazine, where she discusses her home in the north of Cyprus. My quotations are from Martina Cole’s 2012 Daily Mail article and her 2015 feature in Woman and Home magazine, (both concerning Cyprus) and from her Twitter account. I address her portrayal of Occupied Cyprus as a charmed land and a tourist destination. My grandmother was a North Cyprus girl. Her village was as far north as you can get, in the Pentadaktilo