Sharka Hyland’s quiet drawings combine three of the artist’s lifelong interests, typography, drawing, and literature. In reference to the 100th anniversary of it’s publication, the series of drawings focuses on Marcel Proust’s 1913 volume Swann’s Way, the first volume in a series of seven that compose the novel Remembrance of Things Past. Hyland selects paragraph-long passages and exquisitely hand-letters the text, both in the original French and the translated English.
What Hyland articulates with the ongoing project is to suggest that there are instances of literary rendering in which the image, “is so flawlessly formed by language that it cannot be transposed into another medium. It exists fully (as an amalgam) only in the reader’s mind.”
I feel a personal attachment to her work. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do. I can retreat into another world, guided by an author, (-and fellow artist's), hand, but its actualization is from my own mind and is only for me to see. It's simultaneously a solitary and intimately shared experience. Because what's happening in the text, (for each reader), can only be seen in that particular reader's mind, only the typeface can suffice for the literal, physical image at hand; the typeface unconsciously motions to the reader the intended feeling upon which their story will be based. I love that Sharka Hyland celebrates how powerful the written word is and allows it to be without adding anything else out of insecurity. Great art, to me, has a real presence of celebration (obviously, whether 'joyful or not') from the artist while also existing independently, giving opportunity for each individual to be guided to their own relationship with the work. No puns intended, and no pun intended by saying here 'no pun intended' haha... but in good art enough is 'said' in the work to allow for a delicate, intimate moment to happen without 'over-telling' or 'spelling it out' too much...
I couldn't find an image of her drawing of this text, but this is my absolute favorite excerpt from Proust that she's drawn:
"I opened the window without making a sound and sat down on the foot of my bed; I tried to make no movement that would be heard from downstairs. Outside too, all things seemed halted in a hushed alertness so as not to disturb the moonlight which, duplicating and distancing each object by extending in front of it a shadow more solid that the thing itself, had both thinned and expanded the landscape, like a folded map spread open. Whatever needed to move, some leaves of a chestnut tree, moved. But their quivering, intricate and complete, effectuated to the slightest nuance and ultimate subtlety, did not spread to the others, did not blend with them, remained circumscribed."