29 April 2012

Art I like - Sylvia Ptak

Sylvia Ptak makes her faux-texts by pulling threads out from the background fabric and then applying colour.
For this image, from a 2008 exhibition called The Unicorn and The Date Palm, based on renaissance herbals, she has used heat-transfer to add the illustration after the "writing" is in place.

In a 2004 exhibition called Commentary at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library she slipped between the pages of a number of the library's rare books her own “pages” of abstracted, text-like shapes carefully woven into sheets of gauze; these pages were almost indistinguishable from the ancient pages of the real tomes.

Ptak says she is interested in “the multiple meanings that texts generate” - the incoprehensible language of her texts reads like everything and like nothing. "We have such faith in the printed - or handwritten - word that we feel it must be saying something," said the reviewer in the Globe and Mail; but to me, this writing is drawing, literally, in that a thread is drawn out of the fabric.

See a gallery of images from the exhibition here.


Sandy said...

oh yes, this is very wonderful. you do really want to read it.

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Oh, this piece breaks my heart it's so beautiful! Thanks for sharing and now I'm off to investigate more....I love the way she is approaching text....for me it is absolutely about drawing too....thank you for this post! Patti

lisette said...

absolutely beautiful - and i was rather crushed to find that her catalogues are out of print.

thank you for introducing me to so many wonderful artists whose work i would never see otherwise :)