01 Apr 08 by Sara Parent
I have long been fascinated with how artists develop conceptual constraints, whether social or culturally derived, as a means to allow greater creativity. While on a Fulbright scholarship in Italy (2005-06), I conducted psychology research on the cross linguistic nature of dyslexia at the University of Milano - Bicocca. This research, combined with my own early struggle with English as a dyslexic individual as well as my interest in exploring “constraints” through sculpture, led me to become fascinated with the variation in the human experience in relation to written language. I was particularly interested in the misspellings most evident with English dyslexics (as opposed to dyslexics that speak phonetic romance languages such as Italian). Through such misspellings the written word is refashioned by dyslexic individuals to create words whose meanings are understandable by others, but not completely. In my art pieces from this period I wanted to convey the inconstancy of written communication by playing with the pragmatics of words as visual designs and representations of concepts. I attempted to do this by manipulating letter forms via shadows and negative and positive space. I hoped to present the viewer with a continually changing landscape of words (misspelled and correct) as visual designs and semantic representations.