Pentimento by Jerome Fletcher

Pentimento is a digital text/image work based on a ‘scratching’ technology. The performer uses the cursor to scratch away successive layers of text and image to reveal, as in a palimpsest, fragments of narrative. The narrative concerns an esteemed woman artist, a repressive state and an unspecified act of betrayal, either personal or political. ‘Pentimento’, from the Italian word for ‘repentance’, is a painting term which refers to a barely perceptible alteration in a painting indicating that the artist has changed their mind about the composition in the process of painting. The project was a collaboration between writer Jerome Fletcher, painter Geoffrey Olsen and java programmer Toby Holland.

Jerome Fletcher is Associate Professor of Performance Writing at University College Falmouth. His practice covers writing and performance. As a writer he has published seven books - 3 children's books with OUP, Scholastic and Corgi, 3 literary concept books on Decadence with Dedalus and a translation of a French novella. His work has been translated into eight languages. He has also made artist's books and books of experimental texts.

Geoffrey Olsen was a painter and Director of the MFA Visual Arts program at Florida International University, Miami. From 1996-7 he was artist in residence at Florida International University, Miami, US and from 1999-2000 he was artist in residence at Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum. In 1999 he was awarded an Abbey Award In Painting at the British School at Rome. He was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2003 and died in 2007.
For more details of Geoffrey’s work, see

Toby Holland was a Java programmer who wrote the software on which the Pentimento project depends.