As part of the IMRAM (Irish Language Literature Festival), we were tasked to interpret Irish poetry typographically. My piece explores the poem ‘Bean róin’ from the poet Caitriona Ní Chléirchin. The poem itself explores the myth of a selkie, a creature who is both of water and land, woman and seal. I experimented with various forms of interpretation, such as using rocks, glass beads, and finally going to a photocopier to control the typefaces in such a way that could mimic the materials mentioned in the poem.
The line I chose was:
seal ina duine
seal ina rón
which translates to, sometimes a human, sometimes a seal. I found the irony of seal being used in Irish a nice nod to an English speaker, in reference to the story of the selkie. I also found the idea of two words to match our general theme of the year, “it’s hard to feel a bond with an iPad”. I thought this mixing of two worlds to be a fantastic point of communication that I wanted to express.
For the type I used Trade Gothic. I placed them onto an A4 page and photocopied them. I used a motion of side to side movement for the line about humans, as I wanted to replicate the layers of earth that we would walk upon daily. For the seal part, I moved the piece in a wave formation, to mimic water. While these are subconscious clues to the other lines of the poem and essentially the creatures themselves, it may go unnoticed. However, I feel this subtle consideration adds depth to my piece. The interplay of the words ‘seal ina’ on both lines gives the two lines a connective point, and I feel it would inspire the audience/viewer to look at it and try to discover more about what it could mean.
Our colour scheme was chosen to represent the mystic hints of red you might witness staring into the abyss of water. The cards were printed on 275gsm Artika Postcard in Plus Print. Our colour pallette was Pantone fluorescent pink 812 U, Pantone silver 10262 U and Pantone black U. The special edition version of this postcard included 812 U on the back as well.
I was fortunate to work with a group of amazing, talented individuals. We created an installation of a three point wave. We were honoured to be included in the 100 Archives 2017 selection. (a selection of the collection, along with some WIP of the installation are below)
Some shots of my process can be shown below.