Are visual elements [of the artists’ books] led by the same metaphors that build linguistic elements? What are visual metaphors and what is their relationship with language?
The subject of my research concerns itself with the role of metaphor between visual and linguistic elements of artist’s books. The study will be conducted using UCL Special Collections and it will be framed by a series of publications: artists’ books as well as projects, exhibitions, events, integrating theoretical research with my creative practice.
The starting theoretical premise is that visual metaphors exhibit the same or corresponding patterns and principles as linguistic metaphors. The premise is grounded in conceptual metaphor theory (Lakoff and Johnson, 1980): our conceptual systems are inherently metaphorical and everything we say, do and produce is a surface manifestation of this underlying structure.
Artists’ books exist as a fascinating fusion of textual and visual elements - which is what makes them particularly attractive for my study: they act as a convenient bridge to analyse the link from language to visual features, highlighting transitions and signs of consistent metaphorical mappings between them and within them. My own creative practice will develop from this study (through material, structural and visual possibilities of book form) and it will function as an extension to thinking.