Sarah Hulsey, “Speech Patterns”


Sarah Hulsey
Somerville, MA, Massachusetts

Speech Patterns
letterpress from polymer plates, die cutting, etching
5″ x 6″ x ⅜” (closed), 5″ x 48″ (open)

Artist Statement

My work draws on my background in linguistics to explore the structure of language in a visual domain. I am interested in ways to draw the viewer’s attention to the patterns and rules underlying
language which we use effortlessly (and entirely unconsciously) when we speak. Speech Patterns employs schematic shapes to represent tacitly known rules of language. Printed background patterns hint at our large reservoir of lexical knowledge, while die cut and printed shapes suggest patterns within all languages. Openings mask and reveal excerpts of the text or patterns below, giving a tangible analogy to the rules that generate everyday speech patterns.