Universal Mother ~ Elif SezenBook Layout and Design, Cover Design & Illustration • GloriaSMH Press • Melbourne
Elif Sezen is a Turkish-Australian poet. While this may not define her – for me it was a significant detail, with something of an essential eastern soul framing much of her poetic essence. For her book, Universal Mother I struggled with trying to find a language that best described the poetry. What worked finally was a ‘collage’ method – yet starting from a collage of text. Extracts from the poetry presented a host of visual imagery, metaphor and phrase. From this I diagrammatically constructed each specific image like a pictogram or icon. Using an Eastern iconographic method of attributing a multitude of arms to express the range of capacities — the illustration marries the narrative of the title with the many ideas that the poetry expresses — around femininity, love, a connection to the earth and with the cosmos.