Irini Gonou and magical writing.

It’s been awhile since I’ve blog due to my daughter’s knee injury and the breakdown of my modem.  Hopefully, my blog will pick up some animation now!

 Last year I had been presented the possibility of teaching a workshop in Senegal (which, unfortunately, I later had to refuse) and that led me to researching gris-gris, amulets worn for protection from evil.  Often the gris-gris is a small cloth or leather pouch containing small objects or written verses.  The idea of wearing writing for magical purposes fascinates me as my Muy Marcottage huipiles and dresses all have words or phrases stitched onto them.

gris gris


gris girs

magical writing 

One link leads to another and that’s how I discovered the work of Irini Gonou. Irini’s work is very poetic and deals a lot with magic scripts and apotropaic texts.  She has a series of work entitled The Sheltering Word representing her exploration of the healing and protective powers of the written word.

irini gonou

“la veuve du vernay” collage by Irini Gonou

irini gonou

Irini Gonou
irini gonou

for more information regarding the writing used by Irini, read this interesting interview:  Irini Gonou’s “A Tale of Two Cultures” | Published under Caspian Arts Foundation

irini gonou writing on Eucalytpus Leaves by Irini Gonou

Apparently Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher, was also into magical writing.  Around 1654, he had a mystical vision and then wrote about it.  And if that wasn’t enough, he sewed this “Memorial” onto the lining of his jacket.


Blaise Pascal

Related links: Broken beauty + Introducing Gonou’s Magic Scripts and Apotropaic Texts to Bergen + pinterest taliman and amulet page + L’exemple des Tanagras (in French)+ Scientists Prove That DNA Can Be Reprogrammed With Words And Frequencies

gummy scribbles

P.S.  Thank you Jo for telling me about this!  Above is a foto of scribbles made by Australian gum moths on the bark of a eucalytus tree. Looks like some kind of stream of consciousness writing, no? Australian writer, Nancy Cato, wrote about this phenomenon in her children’s story  Nin & the Scribblies.


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11 Responses to Irini Gonou and magical writing.

  1. marisa says:

    precioso articulo!
    gracias Cynthia!!!

  2. Sharan Apparao says:

    Loved the work …I run an art gallery and HVE been v interested in the written word in art….
    Thanks Cynthia for introducing us to such nice ideas n people …..

  3. Jo says:

    Slightly related to topic Cynthia. An Australian children’s author wrote a beautiful book in the 70s(?) called Nin and the Scribblies. Author Nancy Cato. It was about our famous scribbly gums which get scribbly marks all over the bark from some burrowing moth larva. The little girl in the story understands that the bush creatures are trying to communicate to her with writing about the state of the environment. She meets the little creatures and alerts the adult world. Very sweet. You can google scribbly gum images. I love telling children the story.

  4. ounoginiri says:

    thank you very much Cynthia!!!!!!
    I just discovered your venue right now. I would like very much to meet you this summer.
    are you always in the island next to me?

  5. Fantastic! Just let me know!!!!!

  6. Pingback: Suntans and Sandcastles | art for housewives

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