Mapping Language

MappingLanguageSmithPoster-1

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Mapping Language is an exploration in to the development of my own visual language. In this body of work I muse on the question of how much of the development of visual language is instinctual and potentially universal in nature and what aspects are molded by the accumulation of experiences, memories and place. It is an investigation into ways to store this information and to document and reflect on discoveries by incorporating and referencing artworks created over my last 20 years of artmaking. Over these years I have acknowledged that certain images and marks continually appear when creating in an intuitive way, and by their nature appear quite primitive and pure. Some I can identify as referencing experiences and memories of place, where as others are shapes that take on symbolic significance like whispers from the unconscious or possibly collective unconscious?

In my project Joining Worlds, I investigated the development of my son’s visual language and identified hieroglyph like imagery and mark making. This body of work led me to the research of Rhoda Kellogg who believed that the expressive gestures of the infant evolve from certain basic scribbles towards consistent symbols and these basic patterns that gradually become the conscious representation of objects, where signs become a visual image. Every child, in its discovery of a mode of symbolization, (no matter where they are from in the world) follows the same graphic evolution.

I am interested in this hypothesis, that there is a universality to the development of visual language in the early years and when or do artists then depart from this point? I am excited by the idea that there are still unknown instinctual or hidden forces still guiding my work. In this body of work I reference some of the early marks or origins of my own visual language, juxtaposing print elements with natural objects I explore various ways of documenting, preserving and combining this information with inspiration from the now.

 

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Viewfinder 175 dpi

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