The other side


Let’s get talking.

Words by & artwork by Petra Williams

Closed doors bring me comfort. I wouldn’t expect to say this – it sounds so guarded, fearful, or shy, neither of which I like to admit to. Yet, whenever I’m sleeping in an empty house I feel safest and more comfortable if the door is closed. Openness into the dark seem to invite the vertigo for the void, a closed door is also an anchor for the here and the now.


But the dreamer cannot help but dream. Whilst closed, a door is always potential – the epitome of the positive change; once open, it’s vertigo. What pulled us to this theme was that precise moment, when the stomach sinks and the head floats, the ground unstable. Where exactly are you now? Is in between a location?


With Certain Stones, we explore the unreliableness of memories, what is it that we dreamed and what happened; in Letting go we cross the threshold of death and what is life after it; and in Prisoners of Sleep, we thread the line between sleeplessness and rest.


When we traced the line we wanted to thread, we couldn’t know what was on the other side. I had my dreams and expectations, my projections of what I wanted to happen next – there is surely a next.

On the other side, however, was not what I expected: it wasn’t new, like a subsequent step in my path, but a place of reinvention, a moment that begs a decision. I am not sure what that decision is but I’m ready to close the door behind me:


After mothering Novelty and caring for it for its 2,5 years, I would very much like to see the magazine’s next – I hope that it has one, I hope it is a brighter one, and I sincerely hope I am in it. However, I feel the door needs to be closed on the path it’s going now. I need to explore other options, take a break, and Novelty needs to proceed differently. I am, therefore, splitting my path from Novelty’s.

If you want to contribute, join the team and help it move forward, get in touch – we’d be very happy to hear from you. Otherwise, maybe Novelty will return for the next issue, maybe it won’t – but it will certainly be different. For my part, I’ll take a break for now and cross this threshold on my own.

See you on the other side.


                                   –     Marta, co-founder of Novelty.

Marta is an arts manager, who never manages to get to the bottom of her book pile without buying more volumes, and has a jar of Nutella with her name on it. She is addicted to QI and bakes a kick-ass Chocolate Guinness Cake.