Thank you to Robyn Daniel for contributing this article. Art can take us to the strangest places. Literally. Like to an erotica store – or two. Let me explain…
Much of my work is about secrets in plain view and miscommunication. I often use Gregg Shorthand (an outdated writing method of taking dictation) and love it both for its visual beauty and for its undecipherable quality. Few people recognize it or can read it and often it is mistaken for a foreign language. I don’t read shorthand and can only write it when a dictionary is by my side. That means once I write it, the shorthand often becomes as much a mystery to me as to anyone else. It is a message clearly written but rarely readable – and, so, remains secret.
As I began a new series of work my thoughts kept returning to things hidden. Many of us have something we’ve never confessed to another. What if these could still be a secret even if they’re revealed to someone else? By sharing something long withheld it could alleviate the burden of unspoken stories, wishes or dreams. And so I started a series based on anonymous confessions. Most of these will be written in shorthand.
I’ve created a safe place to submit a confession anonymously and have made sure the writer is untraceable. The confessions have ranged from the poignant (“I am not in love with my spouse…”) to the lighthearted (“I love to listen to Christmas music…all year”). There have been long stories and short stories; some funny, many intimate.
These confessions will be in black and white. Handmade felt will sometimes be paired with metal, the softness of wool contrasting with the hardness of steel. These are large pieces (18”w x 48”h).
I’ve started designing the next confession – which brings me back to the erotica stores. At the end of it I was dared to create a piece based on his provocative story involving condoms. Where else to go but an erotica store? Or two? Read all about it here.