If the cloud allows

On 16th October 2018 in Basrah and Cambridge, people walked simultaneously in a circle, treading on the same earth and gazing at the same moon.

If the cloud allows was imagined by Sally Stenton and developed in association with geologist Dr. Nawrast Sabah Abd Alwahab in Basrah with contributions from Dr Matthew Bothwell from the University of Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy and film maker Mohammedali Albatat.

In the experience of walking slowly in a circle, tracing the shape of moon, there is an invitation to be here, in this moment, in this place and at the same time to carry the understanding that people in another location are doing the same.

Messages written on postcards after the walks expressed a profound sense of connection between the different places and people.

Thank you to the 27 people who walked in Basrah and Cambridge and helped to document the walks and to Kelcy Davenport for providing the context and opportunity for this to happen.

For more information about the project go to  www.sallystenton.com




We are delighted to announce artist Sally Stenton, as the winner of our Commission for New Work for her event If the cloud allows as part of The Archive and the Contested Landscape exhibition.

“On 16th October 2018 we walked in a circle at the same time in Basrah, Iraq and Cambridge, UK, treading on the same earth and gazing at the same moon.”

(Sally Stenton)

The success of this inspired event, connecting the people of Basrah and Cambridge, is evidenced by the moving messages written to one another on the postcards afterwards.  The call from participants to recreate the walk each season is testament to the significance it generated for those who took part.

“A textured, thought-provoking and complex project realised in beautiful simplicity.”

(Shreepali Patel)

“If the cloud allows is a thoroughly coherent and well executed project.”

(Chris Owen)

Thank you to our selection panel, Chris Owen (Head of Cambridge School of Art), Shreepali Patel (Director of StoryLab Research Institute) and Gale Richards (Pastor at Zion Baptist Church), who were unanimous in their decision.

Kelcy & Nawrast


I am very grateful to Nawrast and Kelcy for the provocation and stimulus to create this proposal for The Archive and the Contested Landscape and enabling the idea to become a reality. Thanks also to all the wonderful participants in Basrah and Cambridge who brought it to life… and to the cloud for revealing the moon.”