Asemic writing is a wordless form of art writing, characterized as unreadable in a traditional sense. This is due to its mostly abstract, wordless nature and because the writing is not a notation system of any existing spoken language. As such, a reader of a piece of Asemic writing is left to their own power of interpretation, so as to grasp the content of what is written. Within my work with people who have what is called learning disabilities (and further interest due to my son Ruairi, who was born with down syndrome) I found this most interesting. Given its focus on attempting to find different ways of communicating I became very interested in the precepts of Asemic writing and what it could mean in my own work; learning their ways of communicating rather than forcing ours on them - could this be the way we should be working with individuals considered learning disabled? I began to test this by posting work on an Asemics group on Facebook, without revealing that the artists had disabilities. This was successful and led to a further group to showcase their art. It has also ignited an interest in my own attempts at Asemic work, despite never having been artistically active (at least visually) before. Included here is work we felt is perhaps representative of Asemic writing, work made with the techniques of this discipline in mind, Individual works, as well as collaborations between myself and the other members of the GATE arts collective (and my son).
Arlo Yates 2014