Artist Andrew Wilkinson

Design Statement

The name “boustrophedon” is taken from the Greek language. Its etymology is from bous, “ox” strephein, “to turn”, because the hand of the writer goes back and forth like an ox drawing a plough across a field and turning at the end of each row to return in the opposite direction (i.e., “as the ox ploughs”). It was a common way of writing in stone in Ancient Greece.

Using typography as the art form, a poem about the Ox will be overlaid onto the form, swirling back and forth as an ox would plough.

Boustrophedon is commonly seen in ancient manuscripts where every other line of writing is flipped or reversed, with reversed letters. Rather than going left-to-right as in modern English, or right-to-left as in Arabic and Hebrew, alternate lines in boustrophedon must be read in opposite directions. Also, the individual characters are reversed, or mirrored.


Boustrophedon by Andrew Wilkinson

Boustrophedon by Andrew Wilkinson