Gabrielle Burgess

January 19, 2017

Abstract Letterforms in Nature

Existing within an organic environment has always felt so much more satisfying than the man made furnishings of the buildings we are all accustomed to. Something about the fresh air feels so right and free. The solitary allows one to take a step back and analyse, remember how trivial and unimportant seemingly urgent matters sometimes can be. It is an important part of understanding the irrelevance of one’s own selfish needs to truly understand what it is to be a human and what it is to love, to be surrounded by such delicate beauty of all colors and forms. Incredible moments go by underappreciated by many in the fast pace over populated world most of us live in today. I have always felt safe and happy in the woods, I like to climb trees because one can sit literally “above it all” and observe the world around oneself from a completely different angle. I am coming to an understanding the more i move forward with this project that this relationship I have developed with nature has had a bigger effect on my life than even I realize. It must be the reason I see everything the way I do, its a huge part of who and why I am. It is easy to forget the grace and spirit and happiness that natural beauty can bring, its a peaceful and beautiful way to view the world around you.

For my senior seminar project I would like to remind people of the beauty and peace that exists within nature by making 3D letterforms out of gathered materials including but not limited to materials found in nature. The letters will spell out words that were carefully chozen and researched for this project specifically. I had originally set out to find origins of specific words and find their roots so to give a broader definition, but after researching the topic of what sort of words should be the highlight, I found myself interested in words of other languages that have no translation in english. Japanese culture in particular has a lot of words to describe common occurrences in nature, reading further the reason is because their culture has a vivid appreciation for the beauty of and importance of nature in itself. This would open up vast possibilities for research, sanskrit or latin origins, where its roots are, synonyms ext. After the sculptures/letterforms are made, they will be taken to specific areas chosen in advance where I shall photograph the sculptures existing within said environment. The quality of the photograph and the space in which its taken in, will be as equally important as the sculptures themselves. After the photograph is taken it opens up possibilities for me to add, or subtract imagery. It gives a whole new 2 dimensional quality to the work that a standing alone sculpture could not achieve, and allows me to interact with the audience in different ways.

Traveling, Photography, lettering, and photoshop, as well as other programs may be used for editing. In a way I suppose this project is also based around poetry since the use of language both abstract and straight forward will be big attributes to the interpretation to the entire project. I’ve always had a hard time with words and expressing myself. This project allows me to broaden my vocabulary and my knowledge in a topic that otherwise id never engage on my own. This is an opportunity to combine my strengths with a weakness that has plagued me since I first tried to learn to read. I would like my final presentation to be striking and beautiful, I would like the words to be meaningful progressive, and uplifting. I would not like to limit myself on the materials I choose because nature does not limit itself. I understand and am looking forward to the preparation this sort of project idea entails. There will have to be 3 stages, the building stage, the photography stage, and the editing stage. I will have to be searching for new places, traveling, building letterforms and finding supplies, possibly even building sets for sculptures to rest within. I think this project will bring several design challenges both physical and situational. I would like to gain knowledge of cultures, words, and origins, I would like to gain a love and appreciation for my own work I have created and I am ready to be able to say that I have totally invested myself in a topic I enjoy. I think it will give me something to work towards and will make for a beautiful display of thoughtful talent.

Words gathered:

Darkle - To become cloudy or dark; gloomy or to become concealed in the dark.

Kairosclerosis - The moments you realize you’re happy

Compersion - Feeling happy when your partner is happy with another partner

Sonder - The realization that each passerby has a life as complex and vivid as your own

Wanderlust - A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

Petrichor - The earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil

Komorebi - Visible rays of sunlight that shine through tree canopies.

Chrysalism - The feeling of being isolated indoors during a rainstorm and the change the

acoustics have on your emotions.

Yugen - (Japanese) Very powerful word that’s difficult to easily describe, but it basically means

“Deep awareness of the universe”.

Halcyon - calm or peaceful

Solivagant - rambling alone : marked by solitary wandering

Gloaming - that real pretty golden hour of the day, twilight, dusk

Considering more words, how can they be organized? Do you want to focus on a specific culture?

Formulate a research plan. 
Start Gathering materials for drafts of letters. 
Do you need any help? When?

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