An artist’s affaire de coeur with words: A novel re-appropriated

Sometimes it’s amore, sometimes its obsession: My creativity has an affaire de coeur with language, words, letters, stories and narratives.

I often go on treasure hunts in search of  old books, scraps of stories, manuscripts and magazines.  I am intrigued with both the visual shapes & patterns of letters and words as they scrawl,  meander and march across the page… and also with their wider significance. They are story tellers and signifiers, they represent & depict the world out there beyond the page. They are cunning, devilish, candid, true.

I seek the heart-pounding moment of a find – something which can be appropriated into new works of art.  During my material and inspiration sourcing missions, I search through markets, friends bookshelves, attics, bargain bins, old skips and charity shops… On one occasion I rescued a set of beautiful Charles Dickens novels which sadly, were slightly water damaged and consequently had been thrown into a skip, never to be enjoyed or read again. And so a new sculpture entitled ‘David Copperfield’ began…
The story of David Copperfield is a book with lots of settings, sub-stories, changing relationships and changing identities. For me it made sense to try and renew this epic Dickens book by cutting away the damaged sections to reveal a new story existing within the same text. I made the artwork ‘David Copperfield’ by carefully carving away words until I reached a page where the next word fitted within the sentence, and so, word by word,  a new, haphazard & eccentric story was revealed.
The images below show some of the story, so feel free to delve in…

The piece is displayed on a quirky, spindly old music stand which took a while to find – but when I saw it,  I knew it would be the perfect finishing touch to the sculpture.


See the sculpture being exhibited currently at Debut Contemporary

Check out more sculptural work on flickr

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About Nicola Anthony

London and Singapore based artist, art writer, sculptor, lecturer. I create sculpture & drawing, write for art journals and magazines, create events & connect people. http://www.NicolaAnthony.co.uk I also co-ordinate the Edible Art Movement. http://www.edibleartmovement.com

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