Art Papers Learn

Sophie Strand & Vanessa Thill in Conversation

Fall 2021 contributors Sophie Strand and Vanessa Thill discuss the Corruption issue’s theme through interpretations of corruption, contamination, and purity. They also talk about how their work engages with notions of spirituality in contemporary culture, mysticism in the midst of environmental collapse, prayer, political organizing, futurity, art-making, and the interconnectedness of these ideas in their own transdisciplinary practices.

Catch the replay of this convo HERE.

Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Lunar Kings, Lichenized Lovers, Transpecies Magicians, and Rhizomatic Harpists Heal the Masculine is forthcoming Fall 2022 from Inner Traditions. Her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published by Inner Traditions. Her books of poetry include Love Song to a Blue God (Oread Press) and Those Other Flowers to Come (Dancing Girl Press) and The Approach (The Swan). Her poems and essays have been published by The Dark Mountain Project,, Unearthed, Braided Way, Creatrix, Your Impossible Voice, The Doris, Persephone’s Daughters, and Entropy.

Vanessa Thill is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her solo shows in New York have taken place at Deli Gallery, Larrie NYC, Bible, and Hood Gallery, and she has participated in exhibitions in the US and Europe, including at the Hessel Museum of Art (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY), Public Support (Vestfossen, Norway), Camayuhs (Atlanta, GA), JTT (New York, NY), No Place Gallery (Columbus, OH), among others. Balsam, Thill’s book of poetry, was published by Pacific Press in 2020. She contributes critical writing to publications including Bomb, Cultured, and Artforum. She is engaged with community organizing with Art Against Displacement (, a group of artists and arts workers who fight against displacement in NYC, advocating for popular power and community control over land use and housing.