Word play – typographic sculptures

While a picture can speak a thousand words, a sculpture can be similarly descriptive, as artist Helen Kirwan-Taylor’s work sets out to prove.

HAPPY
HAPPY

Kirwan-Taylor creates playful typographic sculptures from words, which are framed in Perspex, aiming to further the idea of distilling language catalysed by social media, which forces users to cut their communications down to as little as 140 characters.

XOXO
XOXO

Around 35 of these sculptures are set to go on show at London’s Themes & Variations gallery for Kirwan-Taylor’s solo show, simply entitled Words.

LOL
LOL

The mixed media sculptures frequently draw on the language of the Internet, mixing LOLs and XOXOs alongside other short missives such as LOVE, OK and POP.

OK
OK

‘At first childlike and innocent, Kirwan-Taylor examines the meaning of everyday and much overused words drawing influences from psychology, art, fashion and literature’, says the gallery. ‘What does happy mean? Is Prozac-induced cheer real?’

SMILE
SMILE

The mixed media pieces are formed from materials including cardboard, wood, glass, leather and fabric; decorated with such unusual media as nail varnish, sand and icing sugar.

SMILE
SMILE

Careful investigation of the pieces often shows darker themes nestling behind the childlike, brightly coloured exterior. In USA, for instancethe all-American cheerleader is holding a gun rather than a pompom’, the gallery explains.

POP
POP

Other works explore themes including Greek mythology, current affairs and scientific investigations, we’re told.

Words is on show from 22 May – 23 June at Themes & Variations, 231 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2SE. All images © Helen Kirwan-Taylor

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