‘As unique as our DNA,’ is how the London artist Rosalind Wyatt sees our handwriting, ‘however much we try to mask that with ‘style’ or artifice, the mark that is left in people’s handwriting is extraordinarily revealing – like a direct line through breath from the brain and onto the page.’
Wyatt, with her training in calligraphy, bookbinding and textiles, reveals others’ stories through the stitched word. With every piece – which often takes the form of a garment – the character, mood and presence of a subject are conveyed through the handwriting alone, the words’ meaning almost becoming an afterthought.
Having stitched the handwriting of hundreds of individuals – people from all walks of life, ‘all ages, some in different languages, leaders and aristocrats, people in the public eye and even given a voice to those who were illiterate and lived hundreds of years ago,’ – she says the process is always the same. ‘It’s a huge privilege especially when some of them are your personal heroes. You start from the same point and take a step towards them, then they step towards you and so on and so on, until it’s a conversation and you’re just loving the ebb and flow of it, with the inevitable moments of silence ... and then it’s over and you both move on. It becomes a memory, yet the stitch is left behind.'
Rosalind will be giving a two-day workshop in March on using text as communication. The course is designed to suit anyone who is interested in text, including writers, artists, philosophers, actors, graphic designers. This is open to everyone regardless of experience. During the course, participants will explore how to reveal the essence of a text, getting to the heart of a story and how to follow an idea through from concept to creation without losing spontaneity and authenticity.