Paula Morison

Niamh Carew

(Photo credit: Correspondence from Niamh Carew)

Laura Evans

(Photo credit: Correspondence from Laura Evans)


(Photo credit: Selection of correspondence)

What Is (the) Time? 

Paula Morison's What Is (the) Time? was a collaboration with Eastside Projects' Extra-Ordinary People, exploring time in relation to the ways in which we communicate. Over the first half of 2021, Morison sent letters to people - friends, academics, artists, old acquaintances and more besides - to ask what the time is. The responses have taken a range of forms: concise and literal, philosophical, artistic, and lost-in-the-post. Many are still corresponding with Morison - sending artworks, betting tips, unpicking time's disciplinary function and longing for the abolition of time and more besides. Others haven't responded, yet.

This body of letters has now been curated into a growing online archive, which can be viewed here

Produced by David Bell (Radar) and Amelia Beavis-Harrison (Eastside Projects).

Paula Morison was born in Swindon in 1985. She studied at University of Wales, Institute Cardiff from 2005-2008 and Slade School of Fine Art, London from 2017-2019. She lives and works in London. Paula’s work is conceptually led and uses a variety of media. Her research focuses on how humans try to exert perceived control over their existence and how an individual might navigate various systems during this quest. She loves data, time and things that can be measured and recorded. Recent projects include Time Well Spent, a performance during which the artist aims to sew on a 1:1 scale map of a flat for the length of time it would take to buy that space in London; Wildfire (01.05.14 – 20.03.18), a digitally printed newspaper containing four years’ worth of collected news stories about wildfires; and Shipwrecks and Where There Are No Shipwrecks, a series of screenprints documenting where shipwrecks are and aren’t located around the British Isles. In 2018 Paula was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries which toured to South London Gallery, London and Liverpool School of Art & Design during the Liverpool Biennial. The same year she was also the recipient of the Red Mansion Art Prize which enabled her to undertake a month-long residency in Beijing. In response to this trip, she made work around language, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in May 2019. During 2019 Morison also exhibited at g39 in Cardiff, Daniel Benjamin Gallery in London and PS Mirabel in Manchester, and was shortlisted for The Clifford Chance Purchase Prize for printmaking. In 2020 Morison completed her first solo show in London at A Room Upstairs Gallery.


On Time

Two new commissions in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Studies' 20/21 'Time' theme. Read more

Project Partners

Institute of Advanced Studies Time Programme

Read more


Writing the Time, with Paula Morison and Correspondents

Fri 9 July 2021

14:00pm - 15:30pm

An event exploring Paula Morison's mail art project 'What is (the) time?'. Read more