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A virtuoso performance in lettering by sixty of the UK’s leading lettering artists.
During the summer and autumn of 2017, two exhibitions at Snape Maltings in Suffolk take the theme of music as interpreted by lettering artists, presenting work in mixed media – stone, metal, glass, paper, wood and ceramics.
Opening at the Lettering Arts Centre from 2 June to 2 October 2017, as part of Snape Maltings’ 50th anniversary celebrations for its world famous concert hall, the Letterimg arts trust presents “Orchestra of Letters” bringing together a remarkable ensemble of all the disciplines associated with the art of lettering. 36 of the UK’s foremost lettering artists, curated by master letterer Mark Frith, present original works for sale.
The objective is for the exhibition to provide a rich narrative, which celebrates the relationship between lettering, music and the beautiful location at Snape Maltings.
As with an orchestra, the lettering artists’ instruments that create the collective effect are varied and technically different. Here they feature calligraphy, typography, letterpress, laser, oxidation, ceramics, glass, wood and stone letter carving. 36 artists have been invited to interpret the theme of “Orchestra of Letters” resulting in diverse pieces of work that range from limited edition prints to individual sculptures. Taking the comparison with the exhibition’s theme, some works are pianissimo (quiet and reflective), others display the maker’s elaborate coloratura.
Amongst the 36 lettering artists taking part in Orchestra of Letters are works by renowned calligrapher Gaynor Goffe; master letter carvers Tom Perkins, John Neilson, Martin Cook and Eric Marland; graphic designer Mark Noad; letterpress maestro Alan Kitching; stone carver and illustrator Charlotte Howarth. Loaned by ceramicist Edmund de Waal is a vitrine entitled Shadow Stones inspired by memories of pieces of music and the poems of Paul Celan.
In his foreword to the exhibition’s catalogue, curator Mark Frith explains: ‘The ambitions in both music and lettering, in terms of composition, are to offer and entice an emotion for the audience to discover. One would consider harmony and balance are the leading lights to this end but please, not as platitudes, the decisions of whether to be quiet or serene, to be strong and robust, and even rebelliously discordant, are deliberate, personal and paramount to the nature of the piece.”
‘Orchestra of Letters’ runs for 3 months during the Aldeburgh Festival and the Snape Proms, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Concert Hall at Snape Maltings. The Aldeburgh Festival is world renowned for its music.
When Mark Frith set the brief for ‘Orchestra of Letters’ and invited lettering artists to respond, more artists than could be accommodated at the Lettering Arts Centre indicated their wish to participate. As a result a second selection of work entitled ‘In Concert’ will be presented in the main Concert Hall during the autumn.
|Fri 2 Jun - Mon 2 Oct 2017|
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