Asemic Writing: Expressive Mark Making through Invented Text

By Sheila Ceccarelli, inspired by Sue Gough

It was not until I read Sue Gough‘s moving ‘I Am AccessArt‘ post that I came across the word ‘asemic’.

‘Asemic’, the way I understand it, describes the text that infants write before they can form letters; the narrative formed by the use of descriptive mark making. Asemic writing is an expressive form of writing that can only be interpreted by the viewer with the tools of instinct, empathy, intuition and emotion.  This is how I introduced ‘asemic’ to teenagers, aged 12 to 17, at my drawing class last week.

I have to thank Sue for the most amazing session. I was deeply touched by the teenagers’ ability to interpret the task and create highly personal and distinctive ‘narratives’ of their own.


Asemic writing, Jasmine aged 16: asemic text
Jasmine aged 16: asemic text


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