Giovanna Iorio‘s VOICE PORTRAITS exhibition is a sensual, intellectual and cultural treat. She turns the voices of poets into images using spectrograms that represent the unique digital print of each voice, which she then reimagines and turns into artworks – whether that be prints on paper, on silk, or as per this exhibition, thick acrylic blocks. She invites the viewer to drink in the colours of the individual vocalisations and ‘listen with one’s eyes’, while immersing in the sounds of the corresponding recorded poetry readings found in the links provided (towards the bottom of this page). The colourfully modified, strangely meditative spectrograms that Iorio creates allow us to be transported (in this particular showing) to Italy, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, France, Russia, Norway and Canada – but also through time, via the the authors’ readings, in their native languages. Living and dearly departed poets are represented: big household names and those lesser known. The show is a ‘trip’ – around the world, and for the imagination. Iorio’s artistically interpreted spectrograms are selected from recordings in the Poetry Sound Library, a multi lingual, archival, interactive global map of poetry recordings that the Italian Iorio co-founded with her British husband.


In the grid below, you will find the names and poem titles corresponding to each of the Voice Portraits in the order they appear in the house, starting from the attic, and moving down the gallery rooms, from left to right.

To listen to the poetry readings for each Voice Portrait, click on the poets’ names in bold in the grid below. You will be taken to the that poet’s place in the Poetry Sound Library.

^ ^ ^ (Attic) : Oscar Wilde (Ireland) The Ballad of Reading Gaol, Beppe Sebaste (Italy) Tentativo di decifrare una poesia scritta a mano (An attempt to decipher a handwritten poem), Yves Bonnefoy (France) La Maison Natale, (The Birthplace)

^ ^ ^ (First Floor, First Room) : Angela Schiavone (Italy) Su un verde prigioniero (On a green prisoner), Ingrid Storholmen (Norway) Her lå Tirpiz (Here lies Tirpiz), Dylan Thomas (Wales) Do not go gentle into that good night

^ ^ ^ (First Floor, Second Room) : Seamus Heaney (Ireland) Death of a Naturalist, Boris Pasternak (Russia) ночь (Night)

^ ^ ^ (Ground Floor, First Room) : Alda Merini (Italy) La carne e il sospiro (The flesh and the sigh), T.S. Eliot (USA/UK) Four Quartets (extract), Carol Ann Duffy (Scotland) Premonitions

^ ^ ^ (Ground Floor, Second Room) : Vincenzo Crosio (Italy) La Luce (The Light), Margaret Atwood (Canada) Night Poem

INSTRUCTIONS: To listen to the poems corresponding to each Voice Portrait being read in the poets’ own voices, click on the poets’ names in the grid above. (You will be taken to the Poetry Sound Library – a sound archive/mapping site run by Iorio and her husband)


Bonus Material!

An immersive film called Poesia Nell’aria – in English: Poetry in the air. (Installazione sonora mostra, or “Voice Portraits” Sound installation: Voice Portraits exhibition. Curated by Beppe Sebaste and Giovanna Iorio, for the Narnia Festival in Narni, Italy 2020.

Bonus-Bonus Material!

One thought on “VOICE PORTRAITS by Giovanna Iorio

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s