||Emily Floyd’s six-metre installation An Open Space pushes text center stage, extending typography into the space of architecture. The experimental font comprises individual components that in their various forms recall the sculptural language of learning and play. Some of the letters are of human scale, others sit close to the floor, eliciting an immediate physical encounter with the written word. Floyd invites us to physically traverse the language of An Open Space and in so doing participate in the phenomenology of reading.
Viewers pass through a large wooden ‘O’ that serves as both a literal and symbolic threshold to a utopian space. Within this realm, a bright posse of multi-coloured birds gesture and communicate through the various elements of the work. The little group embodies the artist’s abiding interest in community and cognitive labour. Drawing upon the utopian education programmes Floyd participated in as a child, the installation recalls the teachings of Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus. Floyd has included a self-generated educational programme in the form of an A3 poster entitled All Day Workshops to accompany the exhibition. Within clearly defined concentric circles a variety of activities is suggested; from ‘printing and patching’ to ‘walking without intention’; means by which connectivity and co-operation may occur.
For Emily Floyd, interaction is a fundamental part of the viewing process. As we weave our way around and through An Open Space, we are encouraged to pursue new ways of thinking.