"...everything was partly something else, and each gained an odd moving power from this union of itself and something not itself, so that with this mixture of truth and falsehood her mind became like a forest in which things moved...."
Virginia Woolf - Orlando
I remember practicing letters endlessly as a child, carefully scribing each part of the alphabet until the second finger on my left hand grew a swollen red bump. There was tremendous pleasure in learning to write. When some lined copybook paper crossed my path a few years ago, I couldn't resist the temptation to "practice" again. It was as if no time had passed: suddenly I was small, understanding little, and intrigued by possibility.
Today one sees the necessity of learning to write nearly supplanted by the necessity of learning to type on a computer. Are we looking at the end of centuries' worth of human tradition? Will these written letters one day be indecipherable to all but dutifully-trained scholars?
By removing the letter forms from context, by assigning them only arbitrary and aesthetic merits, I am able to infuse them with my own system of meaning. Replication, rhythm, layering, and evolution are all necessary components to the process of constructing these images. These methods, all processes of nature, tie man-made form to nature-made forms.
The horizontal plays a predominant role in the compositions, as does the diptych. Together, the two panels of horizontal rhythms in dialogue with one another appear as pages of an open book, the text to be interpreted be implication. Specificity is limited; sometimes recognizable images accompany the letter forms, but there is never any conclusive narrative. ...everything was partly something else, and each gained an odd moving power from this union of itself and something not itself...
Marcia Hillis is a painter who has been living and working in Brooklyn for over twenty-five years. She is currently working on a project to exhibit her recent series “Astronauts and Bond girls” next year in Havana, Cuba. She has traveled there twice before and is thrilled to serve as an art “ambassador” to help bridge the gap between the US and Cuba.