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Word Parts

Alida Kuzemczak-Sayer

10 November - 9 December 2023

Standpoint Gallery is pleased to present Word Parts, a solo exhibition of new work by Alida Kuzemczak-Sayer that responds to a year-long research residency at New North Press in partnership with Standpoint. Word Parts explores the sculptural potential of written language and the book form in relation to the endangered craft of letterpress printing.

Taking as its starting point the role of glyphic mark-making and page or scroll-like forms in Alida’s work, the exhibition extrudes and echoes heritage letterforms gleaned from the substantial type collection at New North Press into a constellation of sculptures.

In a series of fluid-solid configurations – occasionally held taut by an angular wooden framework, or draped over a punctuating support – found word parts are embedded with graphic systems, calligraphy, letterpress terminology that pertains to human anatomy, fragments of a young child’s newly forming voice, rhythmically repeated gestures, rubbings, traditional and non-traditional printing and binding techniques. The material lexicon here includes bleeding inks, the soft fibrous torn edges of mulberry paper, smudged graphite and book cover offcuts rescued from a dissolving letterpress archive.

Alida’s practice explores the objecthood of records of communication and how the residue of complex intangible networks of human experience and connection might accumulate or shift through material bodies. Her sculptures typically grow through an intuitive manipulation of materials that are repeatedly marked, deconstructed and re-formed into singular volumes. Within her works, fragments of thought, glyphic marks, tactile encounters and hazy recollections proliferate and coalesce into charged moments of alignment and (il)legibility.

On the occasion of the exhibition, an accompanying publication titled Alida Kuzemczak- Sayer: Word Parts will be published by New North Press. Designed by Richard Ardagh, the volume will include specially commissioned new writing alongside selected documentation of Alida’s research and works from the exhibition itself.

The research phase of the project was made possible with a Developing Your Creative Practice grant using public funding from Arts Council England and this exhibition is generously supported by the Henry Moore Foundation.

Alida Kuzemczak-Sayer (b.1985) trained at Royal College of Art (MA Sculpture 2014) and at Glasgow School of Art (BA Hons Visual Communication 2009) and is based in Norwich, UK. She has exhibited internationally and selected residencies include Interviews South Korea, Scuola di Grafica Venice, Scottish Sculpture Workshop Aberdeenshire and Firstsite Colchester. Examples of her work are held in The Anthony Shaw Collection at York Art Gallery and Letterform Archive San Francisco. Commissions include Norwich Cathedral, The National Trust and OUTPOST Gallery/University of East Anglia. Since 2020 she has worked on private commissions and exhibited at international art fairs with Sarah Myerscough Gallery, London. In 2022 she was awarded a Developing Your Creative Practice grant from Arts Council England for the research phase of Word Parts.

Image credit: Alida Kuzemczak-Sayer, Study for a Word Parts Volume I (2023) Photo by Philip Sayer