Juliana and I had such a blast working on Alphabet Stories, and it was so satisfying to finally see the results of our collaboration with the South Hill community dress the library walls. The 26 (+1) curated pieces that were selected for the installation went up last Monday, March 11th, and the official launch celebration took place the following Saturday.
Alphabet Stories is a text-based art installation that addresses the question: “How can we dress up our library to reflect the language of our community?” Our intention, throughout this project, was to facilitate the creation of work that reflected the stories which exist within the symbols of our written language. We founded our final Alphabet Stories installation upon the Roman alphabet (used in English). However, it also includes the alphabets of several other languages in order to represent the South Hill neighborhood’s culturally diverse community. The installation incorporates words, narratives, poems, sounds and images that have either literal or symbolic associations with the letters themselves. And each piece explores how different scripts interconnect image and meaning.
The colorful results, exhibited in this installation, are the result of a variety of activities that we led with Khalsa School Grade 7 students, as well as the South Hill Library ESL & Book Clubs. All of the content for Alphabet Stories was generated by these thoughtful community members, and then rendered into exquisite digital graphics by Juliana. These were then laser cut into vinyl stickers which now dress the library walls.
After a final deliberation, participants selected SPICE as the most resonant term for this cross-generational, multi-cultural art project. And this is represented in numerous alphabetic texts, on the west library wall.
香料 Специя こうしんりょう SPICE 향신료