Saturday, October 9, 2010

Developing a visual language

Nicola Moss, 'In the palm of your hand'. (in progress) Acrylic and pigmented ink on linen. ©2010.

My latest work in progress, above, has been challenging, mainly due to the tone of palette I have chosen to work with. The lightness of this work developed from ideas about microcosm, facets of light and diamonds, a shimmer of value? A lot of varied thoughts at the moment, still formulating in my head. But what I am noticing is the development of my personal visual language in response to place. I think visual response is very personal, perhaps like our handwriting, each with our unique quirks and style. These patterns and marks are a response to the experiences I have in environments; the engagement of my senses and interpretation of them. I'm not sure this language is about hearing or reading though, for me it's more about feeling.


  1. and I like this one too!
    I love the 'light' in it.

  2. Here's my question,if the language of visual expression is intensely personal, and I agree that it is, how do we account for the sort of universality of understanding that constitutes response to a visual creation?

    It doesn't really matter! I like the piece a lot.

  3. Hi Chris,
    Understanding the how and why of visual perception is not my area of expertise, but here are my thoughts:
    I have found at times viewers ideas of my work are quite different to what I was expressing or responding to. They have brought their own experiences and memories to the understanding of the work they are viewing.
    Perhaps like music, we sometimes respond to the rhythm without hearing the words. Or maybe we hear the words but not the message. Without knowing what inspired the singer there are so many variables, what do we recognise or understand?
    I think all artforms - music, dance, theatre, visual, in varying ways are language without the spelled out words of a dictionary. There is room for each individual to respond and connect in a way that also includes their own personal memories and experiences. Perhaps that's what makes it great.
    Now I'm thinking about ecology - all those individual but at the same time connected lives. Personal and universal.
    Thanks for making me think more about this.

  4. je le traduis par mon champ d'expérience comme la fidélité à soi-même. Je ne crée pas visuellement toutefois je comprends totalement ce qui est évoqué ci-dessus. Se rapprocher de soi et le transmettre au plus juste, je le capte ainsi.
    J'aime "in the palm of your hand"

  5. Nicola, you have (for me) captured a lightness and a wateryness which I imagine are part of the environment you have been exploring. I think it is so important that work provide an opening for the viewer to enter.
    On a material note, even with an image of this size, I can see (and enjoy) the crispness of line and edge that comes from working on linen.

  6. Love the light and colour and your eloquent expression!

  7. Thank you Susan, Katrina & Mum, for your lovely comments, I'm glad you like the 'light'.