12 - 31 December
Join us for the exhibition opening Saturday 14 December at 2pm
In March 2019, Faye made a pilgrimage to Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) in Anhui Provence , Eastern China where her fascination with symbol, the colour combination red & yellow and walking poetry ignited into this series of new works.
With exhibition names names such as “Three Foxes & a Yellow Arrow (1998 ) Snow on a Black Dog’s Back ( 2001), Black & Blue ( 2014) , Black White & Red Allover ( 2017) and now Yed & Rellow, Faye’s synaesthesic response to colour and to letters and symbol is at the heart of her creative work.
Faye has been combining poetry and visual imagery since childhood - often making hand made books or designing and printing them into more traditional forms.
In a number of these works, she experiments with code. By replacing letters with less easily accessible code - the process of reading the poems or message is confounded so that ( she hopes) the viewer experiences each symbol, word and the whole poem in a very different way to the way one would read it in familiar language.
Faye ideates poetry when walking and the tradition of writing and walking is ingrained in Chinese literature. Without trying to emulate the traditional 5/7/5 structure of Haiku, her walking poems are often short and quite close to this.
“When walking on my own, word images come to me highly condensed and pure like little diamonds from a jumbled intake of sound, sight, smell, touch. I carry these in my memory and sometimes write them down later.”
The visual poems in this exhibition are a further attempt to marry complex synaesthesic responses in a way that for Faye, purely text or purely image does not.
“My early works in calligraphic brush and ink have had a lasting influence on my thinking and art practice. Chinese writing intrigues me. When hand formed with an instrument as finely tuned as a Chinese brush in the hands of an artist, the ideograms are charged with breathtaking energy and nuance.
When I was in China recently I was very aware of the impact of the Chinese characters that were all around me and how different it was to look at these without knowing the meanings, I started to create my own symbols and then developed the experimental code used to make some of these works. When researching codes later, I discovered Nüshu - the womens’ script and was intrigued to learn that this secret language was developed exclusively by women for women in Jiangyong County in Hunan province of southern China sometime after 900.
Over the years the combination of Red & Yellow has cropped up in my work with regularity. In China the signs are often written in this primal and highly charged mix and combined with my fascination for the symbols themselves - I found myself very focused on them.
I collect sentences and strings of words like beads and carry them in my head. I made the series of “Strange Loops” necklaces as homage to this process and named them after one of my favourite word strings the title of a book “I am a Strange Loop” by Douglas Hofstadter. Other homages to word strings that I love crop up in the work too; “The Psychoanalysis of Fire” the title of a book by Gaston Bachelard. There is one made up from of a sentence from Samuel Beckett’s 1938 novel “Murphy”, that I have carried around in my head since I read it 20 years ago.
Yellow is one of my favourite words and the combination of the words Yellow & Red is a little poem in itself to me.”