Art + Poetry

Scan Fluctulation installation

LIAS Tutor Alison Little talks about making art from Poetry.

Artists have used literature and poetry as a source of inspiration for Centuries. Some of the most famous include Millais (John Everett), Ophelia, the Pre Raphaelite who took the source of singing before drowning from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Lewis Carroll’ Mad Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland was depicted by the famed Surrealist Salvador Dali.

Alison earlier works looked toward contemporary poetry as a source of inspiration of textiles work. She fell in love with ‘In the Red Dress I Wear to Your Funeral’ written¬†by Erin Belieu and wanted to start work on a depiction immediately.

In the Red Dress I wear to Your Funeral

‘All the Fun of the Fair’ was originally a central chapter in the novel Alison is working on. The art form took the form of a large lobster using shredded paper and polythene as the material for the form. This was displayed and a section of the chapter was read for Liverpool’s Sound city. From this, an installation was created as part of the Biennial Independent at Bold Place.

All the Fun of the Fair

Her latest poem, ‘Fluctuation’ was written for National Poetry Day. In this, she uses the first-person to depict emotions related to mood swings and possibly Bi-Polar. Exploiting the paradox of up and Down, High and Low, and ultimately heaven and Hell. The installation proposed will be created using a variety of found object, examples of ethnology relevant to the range of emotions and experiences presented. The tennis racket represents changes in mood, above this, we suspend objects from the ceiling using invisible string, below we drop objects on the floor using corse fibred strings. The top section is illuminated using a strong light source, the lower level in a contrasting shadow. The upper section presents a brightly coloured weightless table tennis ball, this is surrounded by butterflies to show a sense of uplifting, positive thoughts. The coloured petals and the paint palettes indicate creativity, pages of books and music notes indicate further artistry. The neat presentation of pill packets shows birth control and an indication of a committed stable relationship. In paradox, the underside of the racket presents a hard rock like ball. the floor is littered with used condoms, a vision of casual, nameless, regrettable sex. A torn pillow and a dishevelled ironing blanket present an inhabitable sleeping environment. Empty beer cans and spilt over drinking glasses show excessive alcohol usage, this is combined with paraphernalia indicating narcotic abuse. Negative lifestyle choices are demonstrated further by the array of luminous club flyers, discarded cigarette packets and empty medicine bottle.


We have an installation which will bring meaning to the initial poem. Alison will look for opportunities to create and display the installation over the next year.

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