I’ve always felt my first language to be drawing. When I am drawing, I am trying to understand the world, and communicate with that world, using an ever-changing vocabulary of marks. The drawings I made for the Glyphs collection were born from a series of marks asking questions around what can language be made of. And, on even a broader level, if the world was brand new, what visual forms could potentially allow for the flexibility and spaciousness to contain the complexity of a fully lived experience. So I think about what comes before and even after words in an attempt to find more complete ways of communicating with myself and the world around me. I think about the symbols from this collection as markers that could stand for ideas, time, and emotion. I think they could serve as visual space holders to represent entire landscapes of experience. And, because I was thinking about the genesis of language, I also thought about the naming of each specific pattern in the collection. For each pattern, I called on the names of African American women writers and poets from post-Civil War America to the Harlem Renaissance to present day. Ancestors and teachers whom I consider to be the rich foundation from where I get to experience what language can do—how it can remember histories, imagine futures, and leave spaces to contain new unfolding experiences.

Ships in February 2022

by e bond

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