Rosemary Dunbar


2011 Exhibition pictured above:    By Hand: Postcards from China and The Calligrapher’’s Dreams

May 24 to June 18, 2011

The works in this show are modest in scale emphasizing handmade intimacy and personal communication. In “Postcards from China” the souvenir Chinese postcards have a vintage, nostalgic feel. The monoprint technique used in painting reveals the limits of recollection as the image on the postcard is imperfectly printed onto the face of the postcard. Encrypted binary symbol messages on the front of the card replace the short, cheery sentences normally found on the back which detail the writer’s location and activities that are unique to that place. The postcard reminds the viewer that modern text messaging and encrypted communications with text and pictures on the internet are not really so far from the 140 character message found on increasingly obsolete picture postcards sent through physical public channels.

Carefully handcrafted medieval illuminated manuscripts inspire the pieces in “The Calligrapher’s Dreams”. The “”words”” in the pieces were created using ink-dipped string to “”write”” in the fluid hand of the calligrapher. Then they were meticulously cut out, deconstructed, painted and layered to mimic the same painstaking efforts of the calligrapher working on a manuscript. The rich layering creates the effect of a dream in which you can’’t quite see the words, but know somehow that if you study them very hard they might emerge from the dream and come into focus.

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