Private poetry


Australia born 1949
Private poetry
Painted aluminium

Richard Tipping is recognised internationally for his ironic adaptations of official signage templates to create poetic or absurd shifts in meaning. The process is exemplified by his well-known alteration of the ubiquitous No Standing street sign to read, in his own deadpan version No Understanding. Tipping studied film, philosophy and literature at Flinders University in Adelaide, later exploring the typographic idiom of concrete or visual poetry in which the shapes of blocks of words or letters created on a page take precedence over any meaning in the sentences.

In the 197os, Tipping began to photograph and document the frequent ironies and anomalies he detected in public signage, eventually publishing Signs of Australia in 1982. Sometimes known as a word sculptor and visual poet he often combines road sign language and Australian vernacular speech. Light0-hearted and lyrical in tone, this work deflates the more usual stern warning not to enter a private domain.

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