Over the Australian summer, I flew home from Baltimore to attend the wedding of two of my dearest friends, Kirsty and Kelly. I had the added excitement of helping officiate their ceremony and could not have been more thrilled. There’s was to be the first legal same-sex marriage in Tasmania, the southernmost state of Australia. Needless to say, it was a bloody incredible day, as recorded in several media articles, including The Advocate, PEDESTRIAN.TV, and The Mercury (paywalled).
But what gift do you get a couple to celebrate such a beautiful and historic occasion? I wanted to give them something personal and decided to create an artwork to celebrate their marriage. Unfortunately, I’m not much chop when it comes to pencil and paper or paint and canvas. But I do know R, so I created some wedding aRtwoRk!
I used a technique called sentence drawing to create a visualisation of Kirsty and Kelly’s entire wedding ceremony. Sentence drawings were pioneered by Stefanie Posavec, but I was inspired by this great article by Henrik Lindberg (@helhen). Thanks, Henrik!
Using this technique, each sentence from the ceremony is visualised as a line, where the length of the line is determined by the number of words and the colour of the line is based on sentiment analysis of the text. These lines are then connected end-to-end following the order of the ceremony.
The final piece included nine variations of this sentence drawing; all that changes between each panel is the angle between adjacent lines. With this, I was trying to capture how in life we can end up with very different results depending on where and how we choose to make a change.
I’m really happy with how it turned out. More importantly, so are Kirsty and Kelly!