This Pen In My Hand Is A Splinter (Artist’s Print)

is co-author of the Dark Mountain manifesto and was at the core of the project for a decade. Originally from the northeast of England, he now lives in central Sweden. He co-hosts The Great Humbling podcast and is slowly creating a school called HOME. His new book At Work in the Ruins: Finding Our Place in the Time of Science, Climate Change, Pandemics & All the Other Emergencies is published in February 2023.


A limited edition print of Thomas Keyes’ artwork from our SANCTUM issue.



This is a unique limited edition print of Thomas Keyes’ ‘This Pen In My Hand Is A Splinter’, originally created as part of the artwork for Dark Mountain: Issue 12 – SANCTUM.

Combining 7th century and 21st century technologies, this series has been made with a high-end inkjet printer on deerskin parchment. Each print has been hand-finished with marginalia in oak gall ink and signed by the artist.

The text is taken from James Nowak’s essay, Between Home and Hell, which was written for the SANCTUM issue: ‘This pen in my hand is a splinter, a relic of the old doorframe, fed now by the dark wells of sorrow and learning’.

This is a numbered edition of 75 prints. Proceeds from the sale of the prints will be shared among the team of artists who illuminated the pages of the SANCTUM issue.

The prints are sized 210 x 300mm. Due to the nature of the material, the colour and patterning of the parchment varies, adding to the unique character of each individual print.



Originally from Holywood, Northern Ireland and now living in the Black Isle in northern Scotland, Thomas Keyes is an artist, forager and gardener. He combines his early experience as a graffiti writer with parchmenting and manuscript illumination with the intent of using each art form in its natural habitat with traditional techniques.

Thomas’s artwork and his writing have appeared regularly in Dark Mountain from Issue 2 onwards. In 2017, he joined the editorial team for SANCTUM, our twelfth book. For this special issue on ‘the sacred’, he brought together an international team of artists, a cross between a graffiti crew and a monastic scriptorium. Individually or in collaboration, members of this team created ‘window’ art and ‘incipit’ pages to illuminate the words of our writers.

‘This Pen In My Hand Is A Splinter’ was created to introduce James Nowak’s essay, ‘Between Home and Hell’, a story of ‘corpse-doors’ in Medieval Iceland.


Additional information

Weight 0.09 kg
Dimensions 30 × 21 × 1 cm