big line, little line, big curve, little curve

Stoicheion (Greek): any first thing, from which the others belonging to some series or composite whole take their rise, an element; the letters of the alphabet as the elements of speech.

A small line, a big line, a little curve, and a big curve: from these four discrete shapes, any letter of the alphabet can be created. In many early childhood classrooms, children are invited to play with wooden blocks carved into these shapes, crafting abstract and representational forms to support their imaginative play. This play-based pre-writing instruction allows children to familiarize themselves with the component parts and building blocks of our written code.

Cutting these shapes out of canvas, I arranged the pieces into words and then reconstructed and abstracted the parts within the parameters of the same space. Later, thinking of the studio as a classroom or a stage, I painted the walls in black chalkboard paint and rendered the individual pieces on a much larger scale. Over the course of the week, fellow artists were invited into the space to engage in various collaborative writing and drawing games that involved manipulating the pieces and/or writing or tracing phrases onto the walls using chalk.