'I wish to speak a word for Nature.' Henri David Thoreau
The alphabet is emblematic of abstract, anthropocentric notions of meaning, so draws a sharp contrast with the organic, growing materiality of the trees. The ‘letters’ are selected and arranged from an ongoing collection of photographs of found shapes that the artist interprets as signs and communications from nonhuman nature. The work’s (playful, serious, deep, shallow) proposition is that gestures and forms can be proffered and interpreted across species divides.
Wild Word also reflects on ideas around sacred and profane symbology – the hidden meanings found in objects or images only legible to the initiated. One manifestation of this was the medieval Christian ‘doctrine of signatures’ – the idea that plant and animal parts would aid the function of the organs (or relieve the disease) that they were considered to resemble.