23 May 2012

Ribbons of words

Among the many images of sculptures of Jaume Plensa, this caught my eye
Usually he uses words/letters to define the human form - and the blogger who previously used this photo takes issue with the practice: "I was distracted by the type. Why has he used a sans serif font? Why are the words in English (although, I subsequently discovered that he does use other languages)? Am I supposed to read the text? Why doesn’t he write a book instead of creating sculpture?" - indeed, why?

However, ribbons of words have intrigued me for a long time - the medieval sort found on tapestries and in paintings, rather then name tapes (though name tapes have their own possibilities) -
Is there a name for these ribbons? They're not quite cartouches... and not speech bubbles in our modern sense.

Two other things tug at my memory in connection to these ribbons of words - an article I once read about them, and have largely forgotten; and a textile artist who weaves figures onto ribbons and then folds the ribbon back on itself and sews it together into cloth. I am resisting searching for these, as that might lead to all sorts of byways and much use of time that needs to be spent otherwise.

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