Manchu by Tim Brookes


The Gallery at River Arts Presents:

The Enigmatic Art of Endangered Alphabets

May 3 – June 19, 2018
Artist Talk & Reception Thursday, May 3 from 5-7pm


The Enigmatic Art of Endangered Alphabets, an exhibit of wood carvings by Tim Brookes, will exhibit at the Gallery at River Arts May 3 – June 19, 2018.

The non-profit Endangered Alphabets Project, founded in 2010, flourishes on the borderlands between art and woodwork, painting and typography, linguistics and anthropology, creative design and cultural preservation, ethnography and spirituality. Originally intended to preserve some of the world’s endangered writing systems by carving them in boards of beautiful Vermont curly maple, the Alphabets have expanded to encompass artwork, poetry, sound sculpture, and furniture.

The shapes incorporated in writing reflect our sense of what comes naturally to the human body—the radius-over-ulna turn of the wrist, the sweep of the arm, the turn of the shoulders, the leaning-forward downstroke obeying gravity—and what we think of as ideal forms: the circle, the line, the right angle, the set of parallels, symmetry and balance. The shapes incorporated in wood grain reflect a deeper, older set of forces: annual sun-and-rain weather cycles depicted in growth rings; the complex rhythms of wind stressing trees at the edge of a forest. These carvings are a conversation between the two sets of patterns, the urgent desire to communicate in human time set against the longer, slower rhythms of the natural world. The carvings have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, Yale, Harvard, the universities of Cambridge and Barcelona, and other colleges, universities, and libraries across North America.

Join River Arts in celebrating Tim Brooke’s work on Thursday, May 3, from 5-7pm for an Artist Talk and Reception. Free admission and refreshments, cash bar.