MENU BOARDS

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Menu Board began as an exploration of the multiple meanings and aesthetic possibilities of words on signs when reinvented on canvas.

It was the commonplace black and white sign that first inspired consideration. The simple menu board with its flat, black surface and chalky text provided a fertile source of material to reinterpret and embellish.

In contrast to pictures, using text as a subject crafts a new and competitive tension. Initially, the words present as abstract symbols with pictorial and illusory qualities, but because of the meaning and sub-text of the words, the visual and verbal compete as both text and picture elements fight to be ‘read’ in different ways. This combination of visual aesthetics linked with emotive, gastronomic sub-text, causes the familiar to become new and surprising.

The traditional menu board itself has also been reinvented: Whereas the actual board is hard, sharp and chalky, the compositions in Menu Board are soft, stitched and assembled, scarified, printed and painted, which contributes to the effect of the often obscure letters and words having a life of their own.

The content of each menu directs the colour, size, style and legibility of the text, each artwork a playful reinvention of the original board