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Jamali Bowden and Leitu Bonnici

Letters at Play, 2023

Moving image, animation

Anchored in a self-aware challenge to simplified narratives of civilisational progression that pervade western understandings of the written word, ‘Letters at Play’ draws from our formative introductions to letters and punctuation in the classroom and on the playground to expand our understanding of what it is that letters are. What becomes possible when we see letterforms as not just individual pieces of the words we use to comprehend the world but as objects and sources of meaning in their own right? The poetic captions in this piece take their cues from schoolyard rhymes, such as those found in clapping games and jump rope, as well as mnemonic devices like the alphabet song and ‘I before E except after C’ that are used to bring us into the rules of English.

132A Gertrude St

6PM - 12AM

Artist Bios

I am impressed by the ways in which Jamali articulates ideas. I am particularly drawn to his work that explores language and letterforms on all scales, from semantics to typographic construction. I also really enjoy his playful and inventive approach. - LB

I am really drawn to how much is happening at once in Leitu’s work. It’s impressive that it isn’t overwhelming. It recalls so many of the interactions that we have everyday that are thickly-layered and complex but feel so natural to us. I also really resonate with her thoughts on forms of things like letters and the book. -JB

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