Promoting calligraphy through exhibitions has always been an important feature of the Society's activities. This exhibition is an opportunity to see recent work by calligraphers and lettering artists of the highest contemporary standard.
'Words as Images' shows work of both the highest quality of craftsmanship and design whilst revealing the integrity of the artist. At a time when so much emphasis in our world is on "effect", here the work shows an honesty and depth of understanding. The artists remain true to themselves – they know who they are and what it is within the craft that interests them. They are true to the words and what those words mean to them as individuals. This "integrity" is not something which can be created or deliberately striven for, only if the practitioner remains entirely true to themselves will it be an intrinsic part of the work. It is there for all to see and often, paradoxically, it is only noticeable by its absence.
From the crisp bite of a sharp nib on vellum to the painstakingly built-up letters with a pointed brush, from a porcelain bowl to computer-aided calligraphy, this exhibition illustrates the diversity of calligraphy and lettering today. Firstly, there is variety in the techniques and media used, from the work of Timothy Noad, showing traditional materials and techniques used in a contemporary way, through to the use of cutting-edge computer technology in the work of George Thomson. Secondly, there is the inspiration of the words which urges the artist to create the work, from the dramatic landscape of the arctic in Janet Mehigan's 'The evenings were soft' to the delicate depiction of the Somerset levels in 'Wetland' by Sue Waterhouse.
And, lastly, the individuality of the practitioners themselves, from the sensitive brush lettering of Susan Hufton, the ceramics of Mary White, to the penmanship of Richard Middleton. Some of this great range of diversity, all of it at the highest standards, is shown in this, the latest touring exhibition of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.