I took a trip to Fiona Banner's exhibition Scroll Down and Keep Scrolling at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. The design work involved a lot of typography installations, displayed in a way that is usually used to showcase artwork - neon type displayed in glass cabinets, books on plinths. I found this particular body of work reasonably difficult to understand without the literature alongside it. I guess that's something a lot of artists/designers want the viewers to achieve - your own personal understanding and interpretation of their work.
The Vanity Press - "a term commonly used to describe a publishing house that allows authors to publish their own titles at their own cost" encapsulates the "practices of making work rather than the final art project." I love this idea, it reminds me of that quote by Leonardo Da Vinci "Art is never finished only abandoned" I enjoy that Banner's work is displayed in a finished form, a series of projects rather than one final art piece - almost a collection of "abandoned" art projects. She describes the making of one of her glass neon pieces in the pamphlet. It is an interesting approach to create artwork with materials that aren't your strongest skill, yet still able to portray the context behind the piece. Banner says "Because I have no experience working in glass the neon is kind of crappily made. The piece reflects a continuing struggle to control the medium"
After reading up on the literature I began to understand the premise of Banner's work. Banner's work involved recent and previous unseen works as well as ongoing projects. One thing that I particularly enjoyed in this exhibition was the font used to write the literature that visitors would pick up and read, and the plaques on the walls beside the artwork had been written in. The new typeface font is an amalgamation of typefaces she had worked on previously. She explains it as
"its a family tree arrangement where the child of Avant Garde and Courier mates with Peanuts and Didot's child. Bookman and Onyx mate; their child mates with Capitalist and Klang's offspring - the final font is an unpredictable bastardisation of styles and behaviours."