Moving: the new Trinity publication rooted in creative response

Co-Founders Grace Farrell and Ellie O’Neill spoke to Trinity News about their new prompt-based publication and the space they want to create

In light of Trinity Publications’ grant applications in pursuit of new, innovative and versatile platforms, Senior Sophister English Studies students Grace Farrell and Ellie O’Neill sought to create “[their] own thing from nothing.” From here, a uniquely multiform and response-based magazine was born. 

As a publication which aims to “[bring] together work of different forms with a common thread — the idea of art moving towards something, or responses to art which has moved you,” both creators wanted to emphasize their choice in selecting a prompt simultaneously specific and without boundaries. In a brief concerning what the collective hopes to achieve, both founders are united under a common theme: “This could mean art that moves you toward some kind of self-knowledge, that marks a move from different eras of life to the next, or whatever your concept of moving might be. We’d especially welcome work based around the queer experience, as in, how we’re constantly moving forward in the arena of queer consciousness.” Be that as it may, the duo also endeavour to free prospective contributors from the shackles of literary and artistic limitations by providing a structure which aims to be productive rather than limiting. “From art that can be disruptive in order to affect change, to the physicality of movement in the queer experience, such as the move from country to city — a shared experience among many college students. The form itself aligns with the central focus, in that as readers move through the pages, a sense of journey will be visible from beginning to end.”

“…we both saw making a publication as a place to bring work of this nature together — work that moves you, that changes you, that leaves you ever-so-slightly different than before.”

As both a songwriter and musician, O’Neill stressed the beautiful rawness of certain forms of art and the importance of such works. As Farrell put it: “[within] the context of college, where we’re all getting to know the world, everyone around us, ourselves…a place saturated with confusing, complex, and important experiences.” O’Neill spoke eloquently of the best way to explain what Moving is about: “I’m re-reading Against Interpretation and [the] first sentence really sums up what kind of work we’re hoping to share, what kind of stuff we’ll be lucky enough to have the opportunity to publish: ‘The earliest experience of art must have been that it was incantatory, magical; art was an instrument of ritual.’ That really drives me in my own work and I’ve rarely seen collections that are focused specifically on a response like this, so this is an opportunity to attempt to create one.”

If the distinctive concept hasn’t already caught your attention, the remarkably cohesive relationship present between both women is certain to. With each response, both O’Neill and Farrell credited one another with having made “amazing observation[s]” and having had “brilliant idea[s]”. Though a successful publication cannot be built on comradery alone, these equally powerful and inspirational women working as one is the ideal start to what I expect to be one of Trinity’s most breathtaking collectives. To that effect, Farrell’s assertion of what differentiates Moving from other publications is as follows: “[Per O’Neill’s ideas —] as students, we’re trained to respond to prompts for essays and assignments and such, but any ideas which are too radical might risk our marks being penalised. So why not take this thing we’ve been trained to do, and eliminate the risk element? What might that produce? I guess we’re going to find out.” 

“As queer women, we were disillusioned at the lack of an openly queer-orientated publication in Trinity, where there is such a large and creative queer community,” O’Neill adds. Perhaps their utmost reasoning for devising the publication stems from a mutual love for art which feels more inevitable than forced. Farrell discusses a “[dissatisfaction they] feel with writing or art that is surface-level compelling or somewhat hollow, and how delicious it is when someone creates something gritty and messy, something full of raw emotion that drags you into its world. When you read a story like that, or encounter any piece of art like that, you get as close to experiencing it as you can, as close to being in [the artist’s] shoes as you possibly could.” Rather than focus on all the ways in which Moving could improve upon existing publications, they instead prioritize what they personally crave in works of art. “I think we both saw making a publication as a place to bring creations of this nature together — the kind that move you, that change you, that leave you ever-so-slightly different than before,” Farrell commented. 

“Our hope is that the magazine will work as a space wherein different artwork that is at once diverse and connected can exist.”

“Our hope is that the magazine will work as a space wherein different artwork that is at once diverse and connected can exist. Working to a prompt will, we hope, elicit many different responses, and we envision it bringing about varied and unique pieces, which are all run through with the same common thread,” says O’Neill.

Maeve Harris

Maeve Harris is the current Deputy Arts and Culture Editor of Trinity News.