Artwork to Inspire Your Writing

Aesthetica selects three images to inspire your writing. These are perfect prompts for an ekphrastic poem – a vivid description of a scene or a work of art. This type of writing translates the visual into the verbal, expanding on an artwork through a creative use of language. Your finished piece will make and ideal entry to the Creative Writing Award.

Julia Fullerton-Batten, Old Father Thames, 2018

Featured above is an image by Julia Fullerton-Batten, who restages cultural and historical narratives from the banks of the River Thames. This work is full of starting points: What time period is this? What brought these people together? What lies beyond the frame? There is a figure with binoculars: what are they looking at?

Gabriela Torres Ruiz, Silence

An abandoned corridor extends into the distance. Light floods in through open windows – just out of reach. What is this building? The shot takes the viewpoint of someone staring into the distance. How did we get here? What lies beyond each door? These rooms have a history that is ready to be explored.

Attilio Fiumarella, The 100 Swimmers

After the city council’s decision to close the Moseley Road Baths, Fuimarella wanted to claim the importance of this facility for the local community and its relevance as part of the national heritage. This swimming pool is the symbol of the diversity that characterises Birmingham. At once, it embodies history, culture and a passion for swimming.


Feeling inspired? Submit your finished poem or short story to the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. Find our more here.