Voices and Bodies
by Emily Rafferty
Emily's creative project explores a variety of approaches to the possibilities that visual poetry offers, experimenting with concrete poetry techniques, collage, poetic artefacts, calligraphic visuals, light and colour. Each of these unique and surprising pieces is linked by underlying thematic concerns with embodiment and the body as perceived and socially conceptualized, and with issues of mental health.
In Emily's words,
This project mainly features pieces from my portfolio that I submitted for the module: ‘Poetry Beyond Text: Image, Installation and Performance’. When studying this module, I was able to explore how various poets were taking their writing off the page with different mediums including their own voices and bodies. I was particularly inspired by Bob Cobbing in how he uses printing to create illegibility and distortion, and Allen Fisher who used a multimedia of text and photography and included his own annotations to his writing to show his work as a process.
This project forced me to deconstruct my own understanding of what poetry is and what it can do. I have always felt pressured with my own writing to create something that is relatable, pretty to look at for a minute and understood completely straight away by everyone who reads it. By breaking these limitations, I was able to play with language and resist the temptation to neatly type up my own words. I wanted to present my writing in a way that I experience the subject. I was drawn by the writing of Virginia Woolf in how she candidly displays consciousness with her narrative choices of using free indirect discourse, so I experimented with multiple perspectives through the use of multimedia and included language that I consume daily from my near surroundings such as social media and literature. Lots of the writing has been taken straight from my phone notes, and scribbles in notebooks. The poems could be categorised into themes of the body, memory, consumption, and mental health.