Inside Passage presents a ball, a boat and a map of the world: three sculptural works made from tiny bits of paper and a hundred or so dictionaries.
Where do words come from? The image of a woman blowing on a dandelion seed has been part of the cover design of The Larousse Dictionary for many years. Since I was a child, I have imagined words and letters waiting to be spoken or written, hovering like fish in an ocean or birds in a current of air.
My creative process has developed as a series of poetic investigations exploring ideas and experiences through language. Creating links to early textile-arts technologies (spinning, weaving, papermaking) through playing with word meanings, book structures and narrative formats are all part of my approach to making art. Repetitive, circular rhythms, touch and transformation are strategies and processes I use to examine themes of absence, memory and time. I want to touch words; I want to touch the space between words.
Inside Passage presents a ball, a boat and a map of the world: three sculptural works made from tiny bits of paper and a hundred or so dictionaries. The ball installed at hand level and available for holding is made of a paper thread spun from all the pages of one complete dictionary, Le Petit Larousse Illustré 1973. An assortment of dictionary covers bolted together outline the prow of a boat. Its cargo composed of long strands of dictionary pages spun into paper threads spill out onto the gallery floor. Tiny bits of paper and printed letters from various scripts and alphabets are collaged together to form two maps of the world, one the continents, the other the oceans.
Although often imprecise and regularly insufficient, words remain a principle tool of communication and an indispensable aid for navigating a world undergoing rapid change. Constant change is also the nature of language and it is this ephemeral, transient nature that I find so fascinating.