Visual poetry or vispo for short is something that I got introduced to when I started to explore the different ways that I could include my poetry into my artwork. The more I explored this movement, the more I fell in love with it. I have a very close connection with poetry (this is something that I will write about soon as I believe it is relevant to this project). Due to this, it was a very significant discovery when I found an art movement that combines these 2 disciplines.

This my series of vispo that I have produced largely inspired by my research and communication with Sonja Ahlers:


The piece above is a development of my audio piece, time, into a visual poetry, while also linking to my essay on immortality. This is because I think time, and our opinions on time and the power that it has over us, is usually based on people’s reaction to our mortality. The reason why a lot of people obsess over time is because they are terrified of not having lived a ‘complete’ life, and people’s fear of death. This is a natural survival instinct, I understand. If people wanted to die all the time the human race would die out pretty quickly. And if you have a survival instinct and want to live, then you have more time to reproduce, therefore, our need to survive is ingrained in us. However, the more you look at time as a concept, and the amount of power that it has over us because of people’s paranoia of death, the more ridiculous it seems. Since, time is something that we have no influence over, and life is so random that you never know when you are going to die, then that paranoia seems to be a total waste of time and energy. As it doesn’t matter how much you worry, it won’t affect the outcome at all. In addition, when you are dead, you don’t exist anymore, there will be no “you” left to regret all of the things that you haven’t done. Instead we should turn this whole concept on it’s head and wonder: “Does the fact that we have a limited time give us purpose?” And that is what this piece is about.

This is a comment on how our lives and the time that we perceive functions in a forward, linear motion. This is because we are 3D beings that can view the 4th dimension, but not influence it or have control over it. I think this is an interesting state for us to function in, as we are aware of time and we are aware of time passing yet there is don’t we can do to influence it. But in someways, not having that responsibility is lovely. In addition, since I’m not obsessed with the past or the future, having a linear existence suits me and my outlook on life.

This is a continuation on the same theme, looking at existence and time, and presenting it through language.

This is something that I always think about when I am editing. As on some level I am time traveling through doing that editing, as I’m moving around through some abstract representations of the past. I think that’s one of the reasons why people like films and music so much. As it’s an escape from their current existence.
Can art exist without language? Translation: “Can language exist without art? Since, language is communication and without language you wouldn’t be about to document anything. In a reality without language there would be no stories, no religion and no recollection of past experiences.” This is a piece that explores our reality and aims to demonstrate the power that language has over us.
This is a development of the previous piece, but in English and black and white. However, I do believe, now having done this piece, that the previous one was more effective. As the fact that it was in Swedish adds another layer of thought. Since, it is communication, but if it’s in a language that you don’t understand, does that communication become obsolete? This question give that piece a layer of depth, that this piece lacks.
In this piece I started experimenting with my collage with language presented in a more diagrammatic style. This is influenced by Basquiat and his approach of presenting his work. I think the diagrammatic aspect of this piece makes it more dynamic and eases up the composition, letting the viewers’ eyes flow more easily over the image. This is a way that an artist can control/direct the way that the viewer views the piece, and quickly create an “easy-to-follow” hierarchy of the components of the piece. This is something that I would like to explore further in the future. In addition, this diagrammatic style leads itself to describing time.
In this piece I have started to experiment with repetition and the power that it gives to language. The phrase becomes a mantra motif. Through the repetition of one phrase I have created tension and contradiction. As if you repeat a phrase it makes it seem like you are less sure of yourself and it almost seems like you are trying to convince yourself into believing what you are saying. This makes the viewer wonder what the writer is so fearful of, and why do they have to reassure themselves so much? The figure in the background trying to look at ease while still looking tense emphasises the discomfort in this piece.







Layering this piece up with the one below was really successful, so if I’m going to create a more concise series in the future I’m going to have to choose between the two pieces. As I find visually each image has to be more significantly different from each other when presented in a series in order for each piece to have impact.
Layering and further exploring repetition, and how it simultaneously reenforces the message while also creating doubt about the writer’s sincerity on the statement. This time I decided to embellish on my opinion on why I believe I don’t need a time machine, below the area of the mantra motif (this is a term that I have coined for this form of vispo). In hindsight I don’t thing this insight was necessary, but I think it helps balance the composition of the piece.
I feel this piece compliments the previous piece, so if/when I edit this group of images down; these two will be paired together. “Time travel is gentrification for the soul” I think is going to become my new mantra in life and I feel it’s one of my best bits of poetry. In addition, I love the movement of the anthropomorphic forms in this piece, it makes the composition dynamic and exciting.
This piece has a very busy composition, it’s very reminiscent of my own brain and creative practice. This business is due to the amount of layering I used in this piece, usually I believe less is more, but with this piece I felt like I couldn’t get enough onto this page. I selected images that looked contemplative as it is how I view my approach to the subject of this piece. This is because piece about mortality, most importantly the mortality of ourselves and the people we surround ourselves by. This piece contains a story about some close family friends and how a human being’s mortality has a ripple affect of emotions to the people that they once surrounded themselves by. Proving that time is relevant to us all. However, I want the viewer to remember not to become too obsessed with escaping death as your life becomes not worth living. But to enjoy it when it’s here. I think the 2 languages used in this piece was very effective as I believe this a story that is relevant to all people and should be translated into every language ever (it ended up being English and Swedish as it’s the only 2 that I know) as it’s relevant to everyone in existence. It’s a story of life, death and grief. Therefore, is relatable to every human being.



  • Print these on acetate and screen print them
  • Continue to work into them, making them more layered
  • Use them for layering in videos
  • Continue working with the text and rework the images

4 Replies to “VISPO”

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