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  • Writer's pictureRuth-Anne Siegel

Improvisation (plus typography)

Updated: Jan 29

As a graphic designer for over 30 years, I have a deep understanding and curiosity about typography. Using found poetry books printed before the mid-twentieth century, I have started using the uncoated pages as printmaking paper. With monotypes of ink, paint, and/or watercolor, the pigment obscures most of the poems’ text in unexpected, improvisational, and unpredictable ways while interacting with the structure of the page. I add silkscreen and layer collage materials as well to facilitate a conversation amongst images, marks, colors, words, and textures as a robust visual translation of the word LISTEN. Although some of the words remain legible, they are where the concrete meets the indecipherable. The words are untethered from context and acquire new meaning by emergence within a new environment. They become an expression of another, the voice of the divine, a message written by fate, serendipity, or the universe.

As another layer of meaning, the voices of generations past in these poems, written by authors long deceased, are engaged with again although in a unique visual modality. Their words become reinterpreted through the action of creating another visual form of art.

I am using this spring semester to further redirect my printmaking practice. I will use found typographical materials, not only physical, but words and phrases plucked from aural explorations in my painting and mixed media work. I am particularly enthusiastic to explore text-based content that reflects my perspectives and beliefs. Take a peek at the prints I have made so far.


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