Friday, 6 March 2009

The Art of Lost Words

The Art of Lost Words is an exhibition of design, typography and illustration inspired by forgotten words. The German Gymnasium is hosting the unique exhibition until Monday 9th March, so this coming weekend is a great opportunity to rediscover some of the obscure words which have been hiding within the depths of our language's long history. Through the exploration of language and image 41 artists have brought back to life obsolete words, exploring their mystery and meaning in witty and innovative ways - "There word...which does not have a multiplicity of meanings" Nietzsche.

Here are a few of my favourite words, and their inspired works:

Morsicantproducing the sensation of repeated biting or pricking, Viviane Schwarz has humorously depicted the adjective and ingeniously grasped the element of repetition in a series of four pictures involving both biting and pricking; from a drawing of a Granny knitting in the dark to a larger than life, ‘here is one I made earlier’, coloufully crocheted biting creature.

Innocciduous – adj. a star never setting. Russell Mills work uses paper and acrylic producing a dark and mysterious expanse of emptiness, he has also used coal dust - quite fitting for a star that resists its glowing form.

Embrangle - confuse or entangle. Alan Dye/ NB: Studio designed a visual global message. Through the inspiration of this single word the artist explores Iraq on a map. The very detailed piece suggets Iraq's meaning as a country and as an area of entanglement, within itself and in relation to the rest of the world, and the confusion and entanglement that the rest of the world have brought on the country.

Benthonic is one of more surprising words meaning living on the bottom of the sea. Ellie Curtis displays an amazing ink illustration of sea creatures within a sea creature. Similarly creature inspired, Audrey Niffenegger’s piece inspired from the word Murklins meaning, stumbling through darkness, tells a 'cycle of life' tale of little murklin beings stumbling through unending darkness, they seem as lost as their very host word!

Work (and the words that inspired them) will be on display at the German Gym and available online for purchase from 6 March. Proceeds from sales will go towards the National Literacy Trust.

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