Taking Your Hand (2013)


Taking Your Hand (2013) is a series of letters written with a font that I designed and used, based on the handwriting of a man who stalked me for more than 25 years. I limited myself to only writing about the experience of using the font and seeing his handwriting emerge as I typed.

Transcription of Taking Your Hand: Number 3 
Making a font from his handwriting is a process of zooming in and out.

The meanings of the sentences you wrote are lost as I look at the shape of individual letters.

But when I zoom out, lean back in my chair and look at a letter from a distance, even though it is not in one of your sentences I feel a little sick.

Then I zoom back in again because the size of the letters is not proportionately right. The ‹p› is tiny and the ‹o› too big.

I look at the photocopied letters again, trying to only see individual letters and how they flow into other letters, trying not to read the meanings that you made with them.

The meanings that I made of them. Then I go back to the font software and start to edit.

Transcription of Taking Your Hand: Number 5
Thinking about the process of making art as a combination of ‹inner› and ‹outer› work. This project is an experiment in exploring the inner. Wondering if it is possible to continue to make large scale pieces that are external to me (outer) if I do not address the ‹inner›. At the threshold of the ‹inner› is my experience of receiving unsolicited letters. Of reading threats and being full of fear. And fury. Typing now, in your hand, is an oscillation between moving into the fear, to the ‹inner› and ‹out› again. I realise that every time I type a letter on the keyboard that I have not yet managed to replace with a scan from your letters, the font switches from Stalker03 to Times New Roman. I don’t have a comma, or apostrophe.

I go back to the font menu and reselect Stalker03, then type a comma and lose it. Then return to the menu and select Stalker03. The act of typing becomes an oscillation between the uncanny sense of seeing my words in your hand, and starting the psychological journey in towards my repulsion and fear and boredom of all that I know and think about you. And how that process is interrupted by suddenly seeing your hand writing, or a close approximation of it, replaced by the Times New Roman font.

I cannot explore the ‹inner› with these font interruptions. Which means I’ll have to go through the letters again to find every letter and punctuation mark that I can so the Stalker03 font (which currently has no brackets or numbers) stops breaking up and reverting to Times New Roman.

From the Modelling Psychosis series. See other works in this series ManifestationsSecond Skin: Straitjacket, Bad Hand. Read the artist’s statement here