VVIISSIIOONNS and Other Selected Work
by Andrew Topel
Part of "Illuminated Script": a SCRIPTjr.nl special section.
VVIISSIIOONNSS -- an exploration in language
I grew up immersed in and surrounded by art. I remember at a young age watching my dad with great enjoyment as he would draw & paint. I followed in his footsteps years later as I studied fine arts with a concentration in drawing at the university level. While studying, I also began to look deeper into another interest, that of literature and creative writing. Studying these two interconnected disciplines led me to visual poetry -- a hybrid of art and writing. Language by nature is visual; the discovery of cave drawings is a prime example -- drawing to communicate. Even brail, designed to be felt, appears like a topographical map, an aerial view of the mountains and valleys of language. Writing is considered an art in many cultures; look at Arabic calligraphy and the calligraphy of China & Japan. Characters represent images beautifully reduced to brush strokes created by differing movements of the wrists and pressures applied to the brush; here again is another connection, the writer using the same tool as the painter.
Both language and art have captivated and fascinated me for some time now. My art is an exploration of possibilities, an exploration in the beauty of the shapes of the alphabet. It is a way of thinking and viewing that embraces unity rather than division, for the way I see it, writing alone, or art alone, is like walking into a bakery while holding your nose, unable to experience the richness of all five senses working together.