Drawing a line somewhere will be a book of new hand-drawn
typographic work with a narrative thread. The word-as-image can
take on surreal connotations as it tests the fragile relationship
between words, their sounds and what they refer to. As the Austrian
writer Karl Kraus has said, "The longer we look at a word, the
greater the distance from which it looks back."
Drawing a line somewhere has its origins in my love of language
and letterforms, my lifelong interest in comics, graphic novels and
sequential art, and my considerable experience in making books. The
book, similar in size and extent to a volume of poetry, will be
beautifully designed, crafted and produced. For me this is the easy
part-it's what I do for a living and I take a lot of pleasure in
THE HARD PART
This is where you come in. Good things take time. We all know
that time is precious and the most difficult resource to come by.
I'm seeking your support to take 3 months out from everyday
pressures to devote to the content of the book-the thinking, the
reading, the writing, and of course the most time-consuming part of
all, the drawing. The project already has momentum. Your valuable
contribution to this campaign will enable me to bring it to
If you can help me raise the first $4,500, you will effectively
double your money, as a 'matching
donor' has pledged to donate another $4,500 if I reach
An exhibition: I will be exhibiting the resulting works at Bowen Galleries in Wellington
opening on May 16, 2015.
A book: The book will follow shortly thereafter, and will be
Thanks for your support.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I'm a graphic artist and typographer with over 20 years
experience in designing and producing books for arts organisations
and literary book publishers. I worked for Bloomsbury Publishing in
London in the mid-90s, and since then have run my own studio
specialising in print design for the arts. I've won numerous awards
for my work, most recently the 2011 Purple Pin, the highest graphic
design accolade in New Zealand. The winning project was Sentimental
Journey, a book collaboration with the poet Kate Camp and typeface
designer Kris Sowersby. The same project earned a Certificate of
Excellence from the International Society of Typographers.
In recent years I have been specialising in the niche field of
handlettering, and have earned an international reputation through
my commercial and self-initiated projects and my exhibited work.
I'm represented by Bowen Galleries in Wellington, and have also
exhibited abroad, in a group show of handlettered type in New York
in 2010 and a touring show of artists' postcards in the UK this
year. A piece of handlettering was commissioned by the New York
Times in 2009. Recent highlights were a typographic installation in
the central dome of the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui in 2013, and
a book collaboration with the poet Andrew Johnston, Do You Read Me?
(second edition published October 2014 from my publishing imprint
Long Face Press).
"As a poet, I find Sarah's text-based works particularly
exciting. They seem to me to occupy a unique territory where type
and images are equal partners. They can be at once hilarious and
desperately sad, there is something in them that is instantly
recognisable and yet ultimately mysterious. Among writers,
designers are notorious for not caring about words, but no one
cares more about words than Sarah. Her text-based artworks show a
feel for language that would put many poets to shame. While her
sensibility is utterly modern, she restores to the printed, drawn
or painted word the craft and care of a bygone era."
Kate Camp, Poet
"Sarah Maxey's giant word work COMEBACK, painted directly onto
the walls of the Sarjeant Gallery's central dome space was an
elegant demonstration of her formal training in typography and book
design and her life long love of words. Moving with ease from mini
to maxey, this delightfully upscaled work yelled, pleaded and
assertively greeted visitors to the Gallery with an elegant piece
of visual poetry. Responding as eloquently to the architecture of
the space as she does to the space of a page. Her wit with words,
love of typography and a sensitivity to colour provide an everyday
sign language that is refreshing in a world that is filled with too
many unnecessary words."
Greg Donson, Curator & Public
Programmes Manager, Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua
"It's about time, Smax"
Alan Deare, Creative Director, Area
One small step, one giant leap.
36 MONTHS AGO
I've been bowled over by the response to this campaign. Thank you so much to all who have contributed so far. It rocketed up to 71% on the first day, and has kept up a steady pace since then. With 18 days to run, I still have to find 7%. I'd be so grateful if you could mention this to likely friends/colleagues or forward this link to people you think might be interested in my work. I need another nudge to get me over the finishing line.
To all who have supported me so far, a big THANK YOU. Your support means a great deal to me, and has me all aflutter. I'm not asking for the moon, but every little bit helps at this stage. I'm planning to get to work in earnest on the project in December as the campaign finishes, and I can't wait!
With love and admiration, Sarah