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


what do you think....?

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