60 Visualizing Sappho

By: Camille Molas


Sappho’s poetry alone evokes emotion, particularly sadness. I am a big believer in visuals and interpretations of work. Below, I have tried to interpret fragments of Sappho’s poetry and bring them to life in another form of media. Sadness was the emotion that inspired me with these pieces. While my art is only an extension of Sappho’s work, I also think that the fragmented artwork I share also leaves room for further interpretation just like Sappho’s. The artwork is also in sketch format and black and white because I wanted the sketches to evoke a sense of “unfinished” and that even within the artwork it could be continued and expanded.



I imagine this piece as two stories. The first is that Sappho is the left hand while we are the right hand reaching for her across time just as she wrote. But the more powerful interpretation I have of this is two lovers saying goodbye to each other forever. Particularly saying goodbye because of time. The idea of the “right person, wrong time” consistently comes into my head as I created this piece. Reaching for someone but inevitably never getting to touch them again.


Longing and seeking remind me of deep nostalgia. The nostalgia of what? Perhaps the good days or maybe even the sad memories.


Sappho was right on this fragment. Brokenness and longing how connected. I have found myself crying endlessly for a boy too long and to love only to be found broken. I purposefully chose to have a naked woman depicted here because I wanted to show her vulnerability. The brokenness going through her soul. However, I also think that depicting her naked shows her strength as a woman and that while she may feel broken she is in fact whole in her body.


I think this is my favorite piece in this small collection. Do I still yearn for my virginity? A woman shown here perhaps right after sex and “losing” her virginity, pondering what her virginity was to her? It’s a question because the woman should be the one to decide what they feel about their own virginity.


Gender & Sexuality in Ancient Greece Copyright © by Jody Valentine. All Rights Reserved.

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