Words in Art

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I’m curious….am I the only one who is captivated by words in art? Not just Words AS art, but also IN art. And, do you need to be able to read them if they are there or can they be there just obviously enough to see that they are words, but not decipherable? I met Lisa Tornack, a great Calgary artist, this past weekend at a show we did together, and I was instantly fascinated by the work she is currently doing.

In fact I am now the proud owner of this piece of hers. While obviously a landscape, what I was enamored with the most was the tangle of words that run throughout the horizon. Thankful that she was there to ask, I inquired about what was there and a bit about the process. As I understand it, this series grew out of an artist’s residency she did in Spain last year and particularly from the prolific journal writing she did while over seas. What I learned about myself was that while I didn’t necessarily need to know what was exactly being said in these words, I did want to understand where she was at, perhaps what she was thinking when creating this. And, of most importance was the energy behind the words. In this case she told me the word “friends” was there as well as another phrase which I can’t remember now, but the gist of it was positive…..I interpreted it as “words with a good vibe”. And, maybe the place she was at wasn’t particularly “good”…I don’t know that, but I felt the intent was “good or positive”…or maybe just genuine, heartfelt and honest. Perhaps she was just simply in the midst of her own journey exploring her own soul while in a strange land. It was odd in a way to observe my own reaction and to see what was important and not important to me in a piece of work. Had I not had this experience, I would have guessed that it was absolutely necessary for me to read the exact words – I’m just that darned curious….I want to KNOW everything. But, in this case, I surprised myself – I didn’t need to know everything – each word. I am just content and feel blessed to now be sharing a glimpse into another artist’s life – a small piece out of her journey through this earthly experience. A piece of her story is in there…somewhere. And that’s really cool.
How do you feel about words in art?

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2 Responses

  1. Veronica Funk

    As you know, I love words, too. I actually applied for a residency in Banff last summer (after being considered, unfortunately, I had to withdraw – but still hope to do at some point) to take the time to figure out how to incorporate the writing I did in my classes into my work.

  2. Susan Harris

    That is so amazing!
    I just did a painting with words.
    I think I understand where you are coming from. Words have a beauty and feeling all their own. Even the style and flow in which they are written and placed in art can be so beautiful and create a feel or emotion. I think with the all printed words and computers we have lost a little of the romance of simple manual writings and maybe that is part of it too. Different languages in art is beauty too. I guess that is why they call it Language Arts well not really but we can called that. LOL

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