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Drawing and writing have a complex, sometimes incestuous, relationship. They are both taught to children, but in different, if overlapping, ways: writing is usually obliged to remain faithful, whereas drawing can break free. There is a no-man’s-land in between, where writing can look like drawing or vice versa, and there are instances where drawing seems to hark back to writing or to compete with it. This can take the form of ‘scripts’ whose legibility is open to question: sometimes they mimic an imaginary alphabet, at other times only the initiated can understand them. This essay offers a brief survey of this fascinating territory.

Keywords: alphabet; convention; escapism; language; representation; script

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent artist

Publication date: November 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice promotes and disseminates drawing research with a focus on contemporary practice and its theoretical context. This journal seeks to reestablish the materiality of drawing as a medium at a time when virtual, on-line, electronic media dominates visuality and communication.

    This peer-reviewed publication represents drawing as a significant discipline in its own right and in a diversity of forms: as an experimental practice, as research, as representation and/or documentation, as historical and/or theoretical exploration, as process or as performance. It explores the drawing discipline across fine art, science and engineering, media and communication, psychology, architecture, design, science and technology, textiles, fashion, social and cultural practices.

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