Spinal Flat

Signs for Sounds: the art of contemporary lettering in Devon

Spinal Flat

The Devon Guild launches an exhibition exploring the diversity and impact of letterforming, from traditional calligraphy to today’s hi-tech font design, virtual typography and street art.

A selection of international artists and designers present letters, writing and words in unusual contexts and in varied media.

Gary Breeze’s stone-carvings look at the similarity between Roman abbreviations and today’s shortened ‘txt-spk’. Incisive Letterwork focus on the sound of words being cut-out and Ina Saltz’s work is devoted to word-based tattoos inked upon the skin.

Work also covers designer fonts by Brody Neuenschwander and grafitti by urban artist Bunny Bread.

Visitors can watch Falmouth-based Timothy Donaldson (pictured) creating ‘unreadable’ words with giant brushes.

A new typeface produced by Jeremy Tankard asks whether a font can talk in different accents and viewers can interact with virtual typography as they move letters and words on touchscreen monitors. A specially designed APP for interaction with this exhibition is available to download. (Available free from iTunes music store from Sunday, September 4.)

The exhibition will travel beyond Devon as part of a wider tour to galleries as far afield as Kent, Wolverhampton and Sunderland.

Organised by Nottingham’s Harley Gallery with curator Jeremy Theophilus, the Devon  Guild begins the tour with a launch and special performance on Friday, September 16 by Julien Breton known for ‘dancing’ his letters using physical movement and light.

Devon Guild’s curator Emma Mahanay told ArtsCulture: “We hope Signs for Sounds will bring the art, and craft of lettering to life. It’s a thought-provoking show and people of all ages will have a great time experimenting with stenciling, drawing and DIY lettering in the gallery.”

Exhibitors: Phil Baines & Catherine Dixon, Bunny Bread, Gary Breeze, Julien Breton, Ewan Clayton, Tim Donaldson, Incisive Letterwork, Jason Lewis/OBX, Brody Neuenschwander, Tom Perkins, Jeremy Tankard and Ina Saltz.

• Signs for Sounds: Exhibition of contemporary letterforming and calligraphy to Sunday, October 30

Related events:
The Big Draw, Take a Letter
Thursday and Friday October 27 and 28, 11am-4pm. Free. Drop in and draw event for all ages with activities relating to the exhibition all about the art of letters, shapes and signs.