Amrita Sethi makes artworks from the sound of her own voice

Dubai-based Amrita Sethi create artworks based on the waveforms created by a spoken word. This piece, called “2020,” depicts various events from that year, “from the Australian bushfires, Kobe Bryant’s tragic death through to the Black Lives Matter, the explosion in Beirut,” and the impact of Covid-19.Amrita Sethi

We all know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but artist Amrita Sethi believes a word can be worth a thousand pictures.

Sethi, 40, left a successful career in finance three years ago to concentrate on her passion for art. Based in Dubai, she soon made a name for herself by creating a multimedia art form that she calls “Voice Note Art” — basing her artworks on speech.

She starts each piece by recording herself speaking a word or phrase and producing a computer-generated image of its soundwave, with the unique pattern of peaks and troughs representing the vibrations of her voice.

Sethi then takes that abstract shape and draws over the individual lines to create a picture inspired by the meaning of that word or phrase. For example, for her first Voice Note Art piece, from 2019, she recorded herself saying the word “Dubai” and then painted over the soundwave to show the skyscrapers and landmarks of Dubai’s cityscape.

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