"PER NYAMKA", by Rebecca Bellantoni

I start at the again
beginning before vain jumping attempts to theorise and second guess what was who
I met the first friend.
I stand strong

To be loved is not to be understood
And who knows where that leads
Care, radiance/
NRJM I am changed. Forever.

Promises of never departure, never leave are rescinded. And still we don’t leave. I promise you to love
and above me/thee never.
Promises upon promises broken and still you love me

My friend.

Destruction creates the material for new. Now. Better. NOW
And honesty is the foundation for all I have to give.
Gathered and scrapped and offered. Believe me.
We produced night and day. Glorious

To question or challenge.
To love.
Questions of origins and purpose.

The beat of friendship starts with love and need.
This element, that gets stuffed back into the throat and is swallowed.
Release this and tell them you won’t leave for thief. For moan
The myth of friendship can end in rot.

The story

During the parliamentary debate before the vote on whether to bomb Syria or not.
while casemaking for the bombing, stated that “these people live under the yoke, under the extreme

This adding of the word “extreme”.
I went to search engine and found that to be under the yoke is to be under subjugation.

So, what to do
I call Red.
The pearl gifted to seed and guidance and command to joy.


when your mind starts to fail in memory and confuse in fact
what do you do?

Who told you that the Badlands wouldn’t shake and that the end would not continue?

That the heart would not meet itself and be surprised by its depth and that you would be allowed to
search and know and be home.

When Sonia Boyce came to the institution in 6/7/8 and sang at the start of her lecture something broke
in me. So used to the tightness of the space

I found myself in a lecture hall the lone and exposed by the loves hold of her voice. There.
Didn’t my mother sing to me, in this voice? Even now and “look in my eyes”. Plastic cup waving.

That day I sat with Karon on stairs and she understood and laughed and hugged me and said  “of
course she did” and I remembered.

After St Kitts.

Hot had taken seat in the friends collective belly.
This cold woman.
This was also the beginning of friendship that was needed. It was quiet and intense.
Politics and fetish. And your first queries
And what even is intimacy?
If forced.

Thoughts of the water being a willing servant to the earth. How rare that seems to me and then the one
that left and appeared diagonal touches my eyelashes and a 13 is offered friendship. Wide open and
seemingly endless.
The relationship between the two and how they grew.

Acts of service
Acts of service.
Acts of service
Acts of service
And then jealousy
Acts of service
Acts of service
Acts of service
Acts of service
Acts of service

And I want to write about the theory. To prove the validity of my feelings and the years and care that
have spread out and over me. No, the sentence “ The beginnings of the word Philo”, do not cut it.
And follow the beat of the curated exhibition but I will not. Because friendship is the action not the
The actions.
And the thanks.

Thank you.

I want to write and speak of:

Philosophical questions of starts and ends.

Advice on care.

But no.


Those in the early days had the benefit of my wide open fear and abandon
When the nerves sat on my shoulder and spoke for me
And I was encouraged to shout “ do it, even when your mouth is dry”

Such a good friend.
Thank you.

I saw the side you didn’t want to expose and explain and I still love you. Did you do the same?
Taught and teach.

These truths cannot hurt.

Friendship like rice,
Friendship like rice
Friendship like rice
Nuff rice

How do you explain to me, that all covers is a Fiction. You do. I listen
How do I tell you that you suffer at the hands of

That all work must be honest
I withhold always.
I tell you the truth always.

This friend that shelters.Continually.
Who holds me, even at distance.
I stir and am held while babies sleep

Still the watching and preparation for care.
How do we develop?

I come to lie down and am met with liquid. Never solid, still forming and full of discontentment.

Something says not now or here
But it already is

I’m extended to

Of love
Of foundation

Can I say your name?

Nyamka, my love. I learn from you and feel grace.
Received and felt on a level, yes. FOUNDATIONAL
Pulls me towards her

Nyamka, My friend. I cried for you and found empathy. I’m grateful.
Holds me

Nyamka, my freedom, I laughed with you and found joy.

Before Nyamka


I watched you dip and weave and create stability on a level FOUNDATIONAL


A group in hats in church. Singing, what a friend we have in Jesus.

Rebecca: but what do you think about God?

Nanny: Girl, I put God first and then Vincent. I pray for you all. I start at home and I travel abroad. I
pray for that son of mine. Giordan and April. Pauline, Linda, Verina. All of you. Sharleyne, Andre,
those children she got. Shamiah, Kyrah and what em name? Yes, Delroy. You and Luna. Yes, I have a
personal relationship. A friend.

A love story to the people who love, deeply, messy, wrongly but try. A friend. Sula. Me.

I feel you question me. I see you go with the flow. A friend.

I choose to measure my words. My tone, my delivery because that is the shape of my friendship. I
give it to you soft. We give the things we love. We share the things we love.

Together and separate.

Your care feels like Lemons leave and stay.
Silver and white eyes.

and your greatest friend will lead you back to yourself.

Rebecca Bellantoni is a London based artist who mines everyday occurrences and abstracts them. Investigating, through the lens of metaphysics, comparative theology, philosophy, religion and spirituality and the aesthetics of them. She gently prises apart the concept of the accepted/expected ‘real' and the experiential ‘real'; looking at how these removed borders may offer meditative experiences and portals to self, collective reasoning and healing thought. Her current research project 'C.R.Y: Concrete Regenerative Yearnings', thinks about the city and its materials in relation to the psyche, soul and body of the city dwelling person.  Her practice is wide ranging and encompasses video, performance, photography, textiles, printmaking, sculpture, writing and sound-text.  Recent works have been presented at/with Somerset House (Rowdy SS), Den Stroom, The Hague (Languid Hands), V&A Lates(Rowdy SS) , Ravens Row, PUBLICs, Helsinki (Adelaide Bannerman) Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Art Night London (Nikki Agency) and Goldsmiths Library (Present Futures). She has recently been awarded the AN artists bursary for 2020.