With half of the show gone I decided I wanted to change the space quite substantially. I did this by pinning lots of sheets of newsprint to the wall and drawing ‘ealle’ on the wall in an old font that looks like handwritten calligraphy. ‘Ealle’ is one dialect of the Old English word for all. In some places it was spelt ‘eall’. It comes from the Old Frisian (pronounced Free-Zhun) language. The Old Frisians came from where Northern Germany and the Netherlands are now. Ealle was in use in England in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries or thereabouts. It is part of the earliest incarnation of English as English.
On top of this I drew all in Times New Roman on glass paper. You can see the ealle underneath.
I hung another all over the top of that but this one was in arial and was made of bits of newspaper and old photographs. This one was hung from a line of string just in front of the wall.
On the last day I tried shining another all over the lot of them. That one wasn’t very visible though.
I liked this exercise. It’s simple and quite effective. At least I think it might be when I try to make a few in photoshop and layer them on a web page.
At this stage I’m thinking my finished piece could consist of the questionnaire, taking up the bottom of the screen, and a version of the word all in the middle of the screen. Each version will stay there. With each new question, a new version of the word will land in the middle of the screen, on top of the others. Gradually they’ll layer up, with all of the old alls remaining visible under the others. In this way I’ll look at the history of the word in quite a literal way, while probing the edges of people’s perception of it via the questionnaire.
I may have other ideas which I’ll look at in links at the side of the screen. In a way I think these may detract from the streamlining of the core idea though. I need to decide whether to stay true to mess and have shoots sprouting off all over the place from the base questionnaire, or to keep everything very clean and simple, consisting of questionnaire and word.
Umm. Ah. Hmmmm.