Literary Landscapes

Create Literary Landscapes from words

Words and letter forms stand for ideas. They also have a visual quality too. In the Lindisfarne Gospels words and letters take on the shapes of animals, birds and swirling abstract forms. Draw with words.

Anglo-Saxon monasteries like Lindisfarne and Jarrow-Monkwearmouth, a little further south down the Northumbrian coast, were great centres of learning. They held important libraries of hand written books and were a meeting place for artists and scholars from many different cultures.

  • Produce a drawing or take a photograph of a landscape. You could use a famous painting
  • Trace the landscape reducing it to simple shapes and outlines in the process
  • Fill in the shapes using words which describe the object in the landscape. Handwrite, use letter stencils or word process over the top of a scanned drawing or photograph.(see Wordscape 1 and 2)
  • Imagine a view of the landscape through binoculars and include an enlarged inset in the middle of your composition
  • Scan one of your word drawings and use image manipulation software to superimpose onto the original landscape drawing or photograph. Print and stick into your research book (see Wordscape 3)

 

Montage of drawings and stained paper
Wordscape 1

Wordscape 1

 

Montage of pencil drawing, photograph, tea stained paper.
Wordscape 2

Wordscape 2

 

Montage of photograph, text and stained paper
Wordscape 3

Wordscape 3

Towers of Babble

Create your own centre of learning - a city of words.

The Bible relates the story of King Nimrod of Shinar who ordered the building of a tower so tall that it would reach to heaven. The Tower of Babel was a huge disaster as the architects and workers employed on the project all spoke different languages so couldn't understand each other.

  • Cut letters from newspaper headlines
  • Assemble the letters into towers. Certain letters are good for certain jobs, for instance an upside down "U" makes an excellent archway whilst an "A" makes a good point to a spire (see Towers image)
  • Build a city wall too
  • Paste your towers together and then cut out each tower leaving a flap or tab of paper at the bottom of each
  • Paste or tape your towers on a base. Assemble them behind your city wall (see Babble image)
  • Take digital photographs of your city - imagine that you are an 8th century traveller or a 19th century explorer or even a 21st century astronaut coming across a strange and exotic city for the first time
  • Experiment with image manipulation software to alter the photographs. Change the brightness and the contrast, change the colours, reduce to black and white or sepia, apply textures and filters, photo-montage in pieces from other photographs (see Towers of Babble images)
  • Produce a painting of your city by sketching or tracing your design onto paper. Use earth colours for the stonework and black for windows and doorways (see Red City image)
  • Use letters from a newspaper which uses a different script to make a city in a different architectural style (see Dunhuang image)

 

Page of stained paper with townscape of letter collage
Towers

Towers
 
Photo of townscape of letters
Babble
Babble
 
Black and White Photo of townscape of letters
Towers
Towers
 
Blue photograph of townscape of letters
Towers of Babble
Towers of Babble
Image of red cityscape on stained paper
Red City
Red City
 
Montage of kanji on stained paper
Dunhuang
Dunhuang