Artlab Australia

SALA Festival – (Formerly SALA Week)

Learning to Speak

3 August – 24 August 2007

Exhibition opened by: Andrew Durham, Director of Artlab Australia

Australian Galleries – Sydney Works on Paper

7 February – 24 February 2008

Exhibition artists: Mika Utzon Popov and Simone Kennedy

Learning to Speak

Learning to Speak is a playful investigation into childhood and adolescence. A time of unexplained trepidation and mystery…who really knows why the character Orville in, O is for Original popped into my head or why I decided to declare his concerns with regard to his internal organs? My particular interest in detail on this topic would consume me, take months to refine and remain as ambiguous as it first started out.

Twenty six paintings convey a letter of the alphabet. Alongside this, text is interwoven through 26 fixed words for each letter, imbuing compulsive thoughts and perceptions. The text is less prescribed, forming a subjective platform of conscious/unconscious thought with several of the paragraphs developing as short stories. Punctuation was omitted to free up a space where the spontaneity of thoughts and feelings could be recorded without concern for the technicality of writing. The process of bringing together a collection of words, formed a sense of meaning and difference to the work, enabling the reader to determine their own, open reference points.