One of the assignments in the “Concepts in contemporary art”, taught by Elizabeth Barnes, was to write something on a piece of paper and then cover some of the letters up. The end result was a very loose composition.
Being a graphic designer, I see text as font and font as shapes. Often I make images completely out of text. This is a reverse process, you write and look for shapes that you want to keep working with and cover or distort the rest.
As I kept thinking of the assignment ahead, it was important for me to choose the right words. Where an image can be abstract and hard to understand, words are quite obvious. I created a weird sentence from words that were brought up in class and came up with “Vocal language of an absurd art point”. Since the words did not have any personal meaning, I had no problem covering anything up and stripping away all meaning. That is something people in my class struggled with, and it's important to keep that in mind and be able to distance yourself from the words.
I think the point of writing something and then hiding it under other layers can be useful in many ways. It is possible to let out emotions or thoughts that are bottled up inside, that normally would be hard to share, they will still be hidden but also out there for everyone to see, sort of a release. There could also be a personal message hidden in the layers of paint as expression of the creator to the receiver.
This exercise was highly useful. It created a very interesting and not forced composition, it is great for practice when you lack ideas or just want to be pushed out of the comfort zone to try something new. It is a lovely way to work with text and has the option to be as literal or abstract as you want it to be.