About the Book
This is the fourth catalogue of Cyndi's work for her MFA degree by research thesis titles A Reqiuem for Handwriting.
My research is focused on the dying practice of handwriting, examining its origin and development, both historically and cross-culturally, and how it has changed over time in both form and function. As handwriting is replaced by digital media, handwritten letters, diaries and manuscripts are disappearing as a means of communication, and with it, a significant means of connecting to our humanity.
My studio practice, including painting, printmaking, mixed media and installation, is located at the intersection between writing and painting, between word and image, between letter and space. Alphabetic symbols become visual images as letters, finding their expression in a mediated art form. I use my artwork to draw attention to the aesthetic qualities of handwriting by revealing the essential shapes, forms and marks inherent in different scripts.
Through my research I explore this transformation of handwriting from its function as written communication into visual imagery and its emergence as an aesthetic in contemporary art. I establish connections between calligraphy and modern abstraction, exploring the materials, methods and process, ritualistic and performative, inherent in both forms of expression. I locate my practice in the framework of conceptual artists who transform text into visual imagery as a means of creative expression.
My artwork is an invitation to look at the unique and hand-crafted quality of
handwriting in contrast to the homogenised quality of digital text. The locus of my interrogation is my personal diaries and handwritten correspondence from my mother and friends as well as acquired manuscripts and found objects. I use script, not only for its linguistic function, but for the calligraphic and gestural qualities embodied in its production.
My passion for pictures began as a child watching my father in his darkroom. I was mesmerised as images magically appeared onto printing papers submerged in trays of liquid chemicals. When I studied medicine I had no time to indulge this passion. Advances in my specialty of anaesthesia are driven by new technologies similar to photography's which have rekindled in me a fire for photography. Combining a love of travel with looking through the lens, I find myself transported into a wonderful world of creativity. I’ve been fortunate to learn from some renowned travel photographers. Nevada Wier taught me to wait for the defining moment. Seeing the light, finding patterns and colour are central to my style. Many years in medical practice taught me valuable communication skills. When photographing people, it's this skill that establishes the trust and connection essential to capture the uniqueness of each individual.