Wording Gestures Gesturing Words

Bonjour et Bienvenu!

Wording Gestures Gesturing Words explores how the verb-noun tandem makes meaning, producing a language governing all aspects of interacting with the surrounding world. Language and social identity are closely intertwined. Nowhere is this intertwined relationship more evident than in the verse of Bahamian poet Michael Pintard. In his 1995 landmark collection of poems, Still Standing, Pintard reflects on themes of race and class, dreams, hardship, love, world economies, access, and mobility. Most crucially, he reflects on Bahamian identity
in the contemporary period.

Using Pintard’s poetry as inspiration, the central question of this project revolves around what gestures produce words and what words are can describe gestures. Playing on the idea of language itself and the noun verb combination shifting from the nouns gesture/word and verbs wording/gesturing. How does the action of the verb produce the resulting noun, and conversely, how does the noun produce action? If you make a scratch, as our early human ancestors have done, is that a word, does it make sense, is that art? More precisely, how does the verb-noun tandem make meaning, producing a language governing all aspects of human interactions with the surrounding world.

Mobilizing techniques from printmaking, calligraphy and sculpture, I reclaim everyday Bahamian objects to create drawing tools: a clothespin, an afro pick, a can of spaghetti, a spool of thread, and a bamboo stick. I manipulate drawn gestures to capture and convey the themes, syntax, tones, and overall impact of Pintard’s poetry. The tools are used to execute gestures producing a new visual language through which to not only understand Pintard’s work but to reimagine contemporary Bahamian identity.

Welcome to my studio

Ms. Yutavia George
M.F.A., B.ED