Experimenting with text and poetry: a creative thought process, Part One

Towards the latter part of the second year of my BAFA degree at Blackburn College, I began incorporating text in the form of poetry into my visual work. This evolved through research and experimentation set in a sketch book, and used as a journal to depict my own thoughts and feelings about my life experiences and the immediacy of events happening in my life at that present time. This eventually evolved into a video installation piece, where I used my own body as the canvas for my words. This can be found in detail at http://paulajartyear2.wordpress.com

Sketchbook examples from year 2 below

Above and below: Using collage and photography, and self made poetry to represent emotions

Above: Projections of self composed poetry onto my upper torso/face and photographed by fellow student Michelle Elaine Ayers.

Stills taken from final video installation. 

Going into year 3, I wanted to follow this journey by creating a small volume of work as a side project where I could continue to experiment with materials, mixed media and poetry, ultimately putting my thoughts, or the thoughts of others onto paper and attempting to portray the visual language as the image my mind would create. I have always enjoyed the written word, sometimes getting lost for hours in the dystopian tales of Attwood, or the bleak political and economic struggles of Hines, each paragraph burning it’s own visual into my minds eye, each story leaving it’s mark.  My love for poetry and creative writing sparked during the latter part of the first year of my degree with a response to austerity in the UK and a particularly political message to the ‘then’ prime minister Theresa May, which resulted in a video/performance piece and I had the poem pressed into vinyl to be played on a record player.  (Please note, the video contains offensive language, please do not watch if you are of a sensitive nature)


I saw this valuable time as an opportunity to relax and just enjoy, and create in a hope to see what this process might bring forwards whilst thinking about the final 3rd year show. It was also used as a time to reflect upon the past 3 years which seems to have flown by so quickly, hitting the ground running in year 1, and hardly pausing for breath along the way. I used this time also as a way to unwind from the pressures of the dissertation deadline, and found that the creativity enabled me to process my research in a much clearer manner.

My dissertation is centred around art as a therapy, and I have always used my own art as a way of deciphering, and unclogging situations. Honing in on the emotional aspect of my life. As a nurse, reflection is a massive part of my day to day practice, and whether it was consciously, or unconsciously done, it has manifested itself into aspects of my art, as it is such a big part of who I am.  The dissertation strongly related to the experimental research I had done in year 2 about childhood mental health and my own experiences as a mother.

Experimenting with poetry, materials and text 

above and below:  sketchbook ideas using Japanese posca pens with fabric, printed and book text with self written poetry


I began the 3rd year by starting a sketchbook with random creative ideas as I had enjoyed the process that had led me to the video installation during year 2.  It was a way for me to relax into a new challenge, taking inspiration from the Vivienne Westwood T-shirt’s exhibited in the British Textile Biennial held in Blackburn earlier in the year. 


Korean culture and traditional Hangul text poetry

I am finding myself drawn in by the phenomenon of Korean pop culture, the music, cultural beliefs and language becoming a great source of creative interest to me. I have been reading translated Korean poetry, and find such beauty in the traditional hangul text. I plan to do a full study on this upon completion of my degree, with the aims of having a solo exhibition based solely around the control of Korean idols and the toxicity of the industry. This was something I didn’t feel that I could fully immerse myself into at present, as there was still so much exploration to do with regards to my personal experiences and what I want to ultimately achieve to showcase my work for the degree show. However, I did enjoy the freedom of exploring ideas in my sketch book using the Koran love poetry of Kim Yong-taek, and collaging imagery and text together, in a style that has become a massive part of my work.





Blackout Poetry

When doing the experimental research module in year 2, I used a representation of a Japanese Orihon and incorporated some blackout poetry as a drawing tool. This enabled me to experiment with line, form and poetry and opened myself up to a new creative process.

I decided to continue this form of experimentation in my sketchbook as another element of thought process, with ideas starting to form for the degree show. Using pages from old novels I had sourced from the charity shop, I did a series of images/designs and made my own poetry from the existing words.

I always find this method of working useful, in order for me to loosen up creatively and set me onto a research pathway.  I wanted to revisit some ideas to see if there was any scope for evolvement, and what I did find is that I have become more creative with writing and poetry.  Since ‘The Great Austerity’ exhibition towards the end of my 1st year, I have found a fascination in using words or text in my artwork.  I have explored and created poetry, and this has manifested itself throughout my work, and my artwork has grown in response to this, definitely an element I wanted to continue with into my 3rd year. 


Instagram   https://www.instagram.com/paulajaneart/

Facebook    https://m.facebook.com/paulajaneart

youtube.     https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkvVihM7bFqaFIWOHXp_J-A

Published by paulajaneart

A 43 year old mature student currently studying fine art at degree level. Registered nurse for 18 years and continue to work for the NHS whilst studying. Mother to a teenager which is a job in itself!!

82 thoughts on “Experimenting with text and poetry: a creative thought process, Part One

    1. I know very little about formal poetry, so I make up my own rules derived mostly from nursery rhymes. I am a former New Yorker now living in Helsinki, now almost 95 years old and fluent only in English.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Very Cool and CREATIVE! You should check out my page, if you like it please SUBSCRIBE and MAYBE SHARE IT. I’m trying to grow this little page into something. HAVE A GREAT DAY! Be Safe! 😷

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My advice is to just go for it, I’ve been keeping this fine art blog for the last 3 years and hardly anyone has ever read it, but I wrote it for me. I wanted something I could look back on and reflect upon and hope it would help with my art work and writing. I hadn’t even experimented with poetry until I started this course and now it seems to take a centre stage in most of my work. Just write, draw, paint and express what you feel when you feel it, but most importantly, enjoy it, because that’s the whole point xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! This is such an incredible journey, my friend. I was amazed at how this type of art reaches the soul. I had to share with my oldest child, a daughter of 23. Although she always holds it together..mi know some days behind closed doors it is difficult. Also she has such a creative sparkle I knew she too would be amazed at the entrapment you shared! Thanks dearly! Melanie

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thankyou so much! I find it so worthwhile when someone responds with such enthusiasm! I hope you daughter enjoyed and took some creative inspiration to make some art, especially during a time when we are so disconnected from society. It’s important to our own well being to nurture any sparks of interest so that we can cope with those feelings of isolation behind closed doors. xx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am copying this special note you sent…I am sending to my beloved daughter…so true and powerful you Words and your Art! I am flattered you even responded so thanks Paula Jane! Xx. We are not survivors….we are warriors to a better world.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. To tell you the truth, I don’t know…. up to 8 days ago I had 5 followers, then people just seemed to start reading my blog. I’m not sure why that is, I’ve linked it to my Instagram, maybe try doing that x

        Liked by 1 person

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