Exhibition | Icelandic Contemporary Design

Exhibition | Anatomy of Letters at Spark Design Space

The summer exhibition at SPARK Design Space is Anatomy of Letters by graphic designer Sigrún Rún Kristinsdóttir. The project was recently awarded the prestigious ADC*E Best European Student of the Year 2013.

In Anatomy of Letters, which started as a graduation project at the Iceland Academy of Arts in 2012, Sigridur Rún brought to life seven letters of the alphabet by treating them as living organisms, giving them an anatomy as well as behavioural patterns and history.

For this exhibition at Spark Design Space, Sigríður Rún has created bone structures for all the letters of the Icelandic Alphabet, based on her investigations of the anatomy of humans and animals. She uses mainly the bone structures of birds, prehistoric dinosaurs and prehistoric birds as a reference while the handwriting is based on one of the oldest preserved Icelandic manuscripts, Egils saga Skallagrímssonar, from around A.D. 1250.

The word Anatomy is used to explain the bodily structures of living beings, but is also known in typography where it is used to explain the structure of letters. Sigríður Rún uses as her literal starting point this common ground between these two different subjects with the objective of emphasising letters as bodily objects rather than symbols.

In presenting these anatomical letters Sigríður Rún borrows visual language normally reserved for scientific objects and facts, such as the use of a glass box to present a skeleton in a natural history museum, as well as using drawings and information in the style of old academic text books. Because of this, her presentation of the letters becomes so persuasive that the viewer becomes confused and starts to believe that the letters of the alphabet really used to be living organisms.

The show consists of 41 prints as well as a poster depicting all the letters of the alphabet. The prints are for sale individually, or together as a set, signed, but in an open edition, as is the nature of the letters themselves.

For more information, see sparkdesignspace.com