Ekphrasis Writing

Ekphrasis (rhymes with emphasis) is a type of writing that responds to art. We could even say that ekphrasis is its own category of art. Typically, ekphrasis begins with a description of the piece of art the writer is observing and then moves into the observer's reflections about how that piece of art speaks to their own life. 

Is there a piece in this exhibition that makes you stop and linger? Sit and observe it for a little while. Then try responding to it briefly in writing. Start by describing what you see in detail. Next begin to reflect on how what you observe makes you think about your own life and experience. 

There is no right or wrong response to art. Ekphrasis is all about how you, as an individual, respond to a piece of art. It's about how that art affects you on a personal level. The artists will be pleased to see how their art has made you feel and reflect on your own experiences. Here's an example of an ekphrastic response to PCAP artist Juan Reyna's "Life": 

A woman, pale-skinned, casts her eyes downward and sews herself into existence. The needle is sharp in her hand. Her nails are also finely shaped and sharp. Who has provided these pieces? God? An artist? The woman herself? These jigsaw lines will never erase themselves. They are like stitches left by a surgeon, but the surgeon is the women herself, building her life anew as she goes. I am also constructing myself as I go, one piece at a time.

-Sarah Wolfson, 2021

Prev Next