The Art of Words: Brad Wall and Heidi Reynolds

Editor’s note: The works of this artist and writer pair are from our Art of Words exhibit, which was on view in the gallery of Follow Your Art Community Studios in September 2022. For this collaborative exhibit, FYACS writers and artists exchanged words and art, prompting each other to respond with something new.



by Brad Wall

Here we are at the Spa:

Digging deep into our selves

Slinging off all especially the bra

And freeing ourselves from a shit ton of bookshelves.

Here we go into tranquility with the silence

Of our voices and troubles melting away without violence.

My dear friend, do me a solid, and ask the staff

For another carafe—

I think more water—

My friend grunts and I think of being underwater.

The soothing sounds fall into my mind

But now I have to remind my body I am resigned

  To leaving and schlepping back to the grind

  Of the mind-numbing job for the unrefined kind.


“On the Wave of Tranquility”

by Heidi Reynolds

Acrylic, beeswax, and found objects on canvas


Remembering Past Self

by Heidi Reynolds

Clay, twigs, fabric, and found objects.


Remembering Past Self

by Brad Wall

“What’s past is prologue…”

-William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II Scene I

Long is the ocean

Beset by the ebb and flow—

Time’s helpers in the matters

Of the mind

Travelling the depths of 

Despair finds oneself

Another man

Flesh and bone trawl

Space with gold in their hearts

Bouncing upon the waves, I have all the time in the world. Not a sight to be seen otherward. The isle behind me fails to secede from the designs of my mind. The rocky outcrop sheltered me enough. The mouth bred comfort in my needs. It produced water and kindling for the flame. Robinson Crusoe clutches my dreams. ‘I hope the world does not let me become another Crusoe.’

The golden sheen of the sailing vessel feels good. It has reminders of the past self. The experiences—rather golden now—solidify my standing in the New World. Acts upon acts have taken me for a ride—the loneliness of separation from my friends and family sailing with glorious purpose while I produce a sailable vessel. Travelling the depths of despair finds oneself another man.

Long is the ocean—the ebb and flow marking all bodies—dispells permanence as an obstacle for the tired minds. Striving for more—for true treasured gold—is the best act producing prologues for the ages. 

Brad Wall is a librarian and writer living in Melrose, MA. He is a lover of words and art. He received a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. Brad is also a member of the Writers Studio at FYACS.

Heidi Reynolds is an artist in residence at Follow Your Art Community Studios.

Read more stories on Palette.