Texture and Text
September 8 - November 4, 2012
Words exist in a bodily form with an aesthetic aftertaste, and every image demands to be read.
In anticipation of the upcoming Words Aloud! Spoken Word and Storytelling Festival (November 2–4, 2012), the Durham Art Gallery is presenting two visual artists whose work engages with language on multiple levels. Alice Teichert and Caitlin Erskine-Smith ask us to think a little more deeply about what text signifies, beyond conventional word definitions, syntax structures, and narrative forms.
Alice Teichert is a multi-linguist fluent in English, German, Dutch and French, and has always had an interest in the study of language. She thinks of language in highly visual ways, to the extent of finding the spaces between words as compelling as the words themselves. Teichert refers to her work as visual poetry. Words, letters and musical scores become encrypted as gestural drawings in her boldly coloured and multi-layered abstract paintings. Expressive and fluid, Teichert's imagery can be read as texts that are emotional, lyrical and philosophical. Her canvases become musical inscriptions embedded in layers of vibrant colour glazes.
Caitlin Erskine-Smith's captivating textile based work is about communication and and generating information. Exploring ideas surrounding the use of the spoken and written texts, she seamlessly integrates letters and words into the texture and fluidity of woven fabric. Erskine-Smith loves working with textiles both because of its presence in our day-to-day lives, and for its metaphoric links to the interweaving of individuals with their communities and their cultures. Language, for her, has a similar significance, and she blends textile and text to "deconstruct the process of communication, examining how messages can be lost entirely in the multi-layered process of understanding." Erskine-Smith's work prompts us to engage in a dialogue which seeks to question or search for meaning in a world overflowing with visual and verbal messages.
Alice Teichert pursued art studies in Belgium, France and New York where she received mentoring from the influential art critic Clement Greenberg. Teichert lives in Campbellcroft and maintains a studio/gallery in Port Hope.
Caitlin Erskine-Smith's arts training occurred in Ireland, Bolivia and at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Currently Toronto based, Erskine-Smith will soon be relocating to England. Both artists have exhibited across Canada and internationally.