Abecedaria 




An abecedarium (or abecedary) is an inscription consisting of the letters of the alphabet, almost always listed in order. Typically, abecedaria (or abecedaries) are practice exercises or written tablets of letters or full alphabets.

Abecedaria began out of curiosity, when researching the genesis of language I discovered the root of which was primarily similar when spoken or written. Proto-canaanite alphabets and the Phoenician alphabet are historically the oldest written language systems. Ultimately derived from Egyptian hieroglyphics this symbolic language became widely utilized and is recognized as the root of other alphabets.

Symbols being used in the place of letters/words are nothing new. It is a way to communicate beyond language barriers, beyond species, beyond age groups. Researchers have used symbols, pictograms and colors to communicate with apes, chimps and young children who have yet to learn a spoken or written language. Association visually is built up very early on and is almost primal innate instinct in all species. Certain colors and shapes start to hold certain connotations depending on your life experiences.

With this in mind I began to look at various symbolic languages including Proto-canaanite; Runic, Ancient Italian, Hieroglyphics, etc. I also looked at more modern symbolic forms of communication like Alchemical symbols,  Hermetic and Occult. All relied heavily on mark making that was outside of the letter mark making we know today but later informed it as we moved towards Cuneiform. I combined various symbols and mark making practices with my research into language to create my own Abecedaria(s).

Utilizing color, form, and medium that lent itself to communication; sumi ink. Graffiti Krink-K60 pens, and watercolors. I developed large and small “tablets” of symbols over a series of several months. The process became cathartic and provided its own feedback over time as well. The alphabet seemed to develop on its own accord after awhile and the mark making process felt like writing. It feels as if each piece is a work of written text as much it is a visual composition.
ALICIA SERLING ART